Beneath Sobs

the ease with which Bakari Sellers
thinking of his children
what do they do if
and then names
George Floyd killed slow by the knee on his neck 
and then
Brionna Taylor shot sleeping 
and then
Ahmaud Arbery hunted in a "good old fashioned Georgia lynching" is
a social fluency in 2020.
it is one of the languages spoken by those with their eyes open
there are fewer verbs in this language
all violent
fewer colors, mostly black
the language can be faked but
it is best understood when
heard beneath sobs 

It's Time for the End of Health Insurance

My brother is about to lose his job. He'll join the record 16 million who have started down that path in the last three weeks.

It's the only formal job in his household, so he, his wife, and my two nephews are passing through the antechamber of a fragile-by-decree democracy into its great hall.  It's in that room, with the soaring frescoed domes and neolithic stylings, that wealthy America hides its signature trap door.

The trick is failure by and of design.

Letter to the Future XVII - The Sweet Quiet of Negative Success

"If you need to be right before you move, you will never win."

Dr. Michael Ryan, Exec Director, WHO
on the lessons from Ebola

15 March 2020

Dear Future -

Today, New York City announced an 80% increase in cases, in 24 hours. The curve of our detection capacity is, finally, starting to chase the curve of contagion. At 3,000 or so confirmed cases today, we have every reason to expect 10,000 by next weekend, as our national testing capacity comes online. Settling down to a 25% day over day increase for 31 days would mean an increase of a factor of 1,000 a month from now. The unofficial national motto has become 'flatten the curve.'

The Socialization of Risk

March 16, 2020

Let's talk about socialism - specifically, the socialization of risk. 

We're likely about to be asked to bail out the riskiest elements of the American energy sector. Others - like airlines and cruises - will line up after it.

A lot of human beings are looking down the barrel of job loss because of what's unfolding in markets. In energy, it's already savage. Oil sells for less than break-even production prices for a majority of the American energy market and Saudi Arabia is peacocking, saying it can knuckle-by at these levels for years. From Bloomberg:

COVID-19: A New Paradigm

5 March 2020

When asked on Monday whether he would declare a federal state of emergency in response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the COVID-19 disease, which would free up federal funding to try to head off a national contagion, President Trump said no. It hadn't risen to that.

At a press conference Monday, it was unclear as to whether Medicare and Medicaid would cover medical services intended to detect and treat the coronavirus. Didn't rise to an emergency declaration of support there either.

Before all that, though, Monday morning Trump was pushing Fed Chairman Jay Powell to cut interest rates to allay markets. The President, as always, had an eye on stocks.

This morning, the Fed appeared to fold. It made an emergency cut to the fed funds rate of 0.50% from 1.75%.  The rate cut may have tickled the President, as he is in service to capital markets. But the Fed sees something brewing.

Everything is Here

she places two wet lips on my ear
how can she be that close, to me
blows a whisper into me; i am inoculated and
it blossoms
builds and unfolds in the manner of exponents
the clouds of new stars
she is leaving with her mouth
new words in me,
covering the domed ceiling of my cave
with something ancient and pictoral,
she makes clear what she does not care for
only in what does not grow from
what she leaves in me.
everything else is here.

Escaping Bogota

It's not a positive indicator when an airport worker at the mouth of the check-in line hears your destination, lets you pass, and then yells to their colleague and points at you.

You are The One they've been waiting for.

The woman at the counter looks very worried. She retrieves my reservation and leaves several times, disappearing quickly in one direction only to reappear some minutes later speed stepping the other way. Eventually she turns over my passport to read, looks at me and says "but this is a diplomatic passport."  She leaves again, extra worried.