2020 Year End Review

I wouldn’t be a blogger if I didn’t have an obligatory End of 2020 post. Someday, I’ll look back at this and think “What a crazy time that was!

Not going to do a play-by-play, but there are a few moments and epiphanies that I had this year that I want to capture for myself. If I’ve overlooked anything, please leave a comment below.

STIMULUS, SHUTDOWN, AND MORE STIMULUS

If you were to tell me this time last year that not only would the governments of the world try to shut down all “non-essential” economic activity but also, in some cases, criminalize going outside your home and gathering with more than 10 people at a time, I would have said you were delusional and paranoid. Fact is if you’re still supporting this today, this description applies to you more than ever.

What’s disturbing to me is how easily and quickly the government was able to convince the masses to Just Obey. NO discernable resistance whatsoever except from the extremist, anarcho-capitalists like me. And people like me have been met with angry goose-stepping Karens everywhere. Whether it was to flatten the curve, Sacrifice for the Safetyness of Grandma and Grandpa, Believe the Science, Stop Being So Selfish, or Honor the Brave Health Care / Front Line Workers — the public quickly embraced the socialists’ We’re All in This Together mantra.

What’s not surprising in the least is that times of trouble like this really bring out people’s true natures. I’m always thinking of the friends that start a sentence like “I’m all for Liberty and Freedom BUT . . .” Or Christians that somehow equate voting or paying taxes or obeying an arbitrary speed limit or Backing the Blue as some extension of the 10 Commandments.

I often wondered when the End Times come, how it would be possible for all of the warring nations and rulers to unite under a single, global Antichrist, requiring the Mark of the Beast to survive. “Surely”, I thought, “people will recognize what’s going on and resist!”

I am thoroughly convinced that it would take little to no effort at all for the world to fall on its knees and worship Antichrist when he arises.

Economically speaking, it’s suicide to completely shut down a global economy. Unless, of course, that is your goal. Friends have been talking about the Great Reset and MMT more and more this year, no longer conspiracy theories or libertarian coffee house banter, but front page news and gaining notoriety from ‘experts’. You can Google them if you want, but it’s basically the world’s most powerful people grabbing up control of everything and trying to do away with Free Markets, Choice, and Liberty.

Again, see End Times comments above.

And how does the US government respond? By paying people to stay at home. Twice. Extend unemployment. Hand out free money to businesses with forgivable loans. All the while, hundreds of millions of dollars of pork spending are hidden in thousands of pages of legislation that no one has read. Money for foreign aid. Money for the Kennedy Center. Money for all the Washington insider cronies. Money we don’t have so we have to borrow.

And the masses of sheeple can’t get enough of it. And they also can’t do the simple math of dividing the spending dollars by the # of adult US Citizens to see that we are getting pennies on the thousands of dollars being spent.

Just how alarming was the deficit spending pace in 2020?

If you look at the changes to M1 and M2 money supply in 2020 alone (generically they are measurements of currency in circulation and also in savings) M1 grew over 40% from Jan to Dec 2020. M2 grew 20%.

IN ONE YEAR.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/fredgraph.png?g=zpaf

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/fredgraph.png?g=zpaj

Is it any surprise that the stock market is making record highs? Ask yourself, who is benefiting from all this stimulus? Is it the struggling middle-class family who lost their sources of income because the govt shut down their employers or schools? Or the non-chain-owned restaurant which had been in business for generations to be wiped out overnight because they’re not made for takeout? I’m sure public school teachers are also thrilled to be stuck in front of a computer screen 8 hours a day trying to keep the attention of their 1st graders.

Systemic Racism, Defund Police, All Lives Matter

Of course on top of Corona and lock down, the other big set of events this year began with the death of George Floyd in Minnesota by Derek Chauvin. Most people were shocked and angered by the news and footage. Rioting began in Minneapolis and quickly spread to metropolitan areas across the country.

Those of you who’ve been following me for a while know I have a somewhat controversial perspective on racism. I believe racism exists just like any other kind of prejudice or bias. You can debate whether it’s taught or born within us. But at the end of the day, people have their own preferences, likes and dislikes.

The absolute worst way to combat racism is to force ‘diversity’ on an unwilling population. I actually believe this is what did the Democrats in during the 2016 election. Centrist / mildly conservative voters were polarized into Trump’s camp simply due to the fact that they were on the defensive, constantly having to fight the growing PC / woke culture today. These weren’t racist voters but they were tired of being accused of being so.

When all this broke out early this summer, I had several conversations with my children about racism. The fact is that the most effective way to combat racism is to live your life as a stark contrast to racial prejudices. My family is of Asian heritage. If I happen to meet someone who has never met an actual Asian in his life while on the road in rural Alabama or Tennessee or North Dakota, why would I be surprised that their preconceived ideas of who I am come from Kung Fu movies or some bad YouTube videos or even K Dramas? Are we all Crazy Rich Asians?

I told my children that I can’t control or even begin to worry about someone’s prejudice, hundreds of miles away, whom I’ll never meet. But what I can do is break the mold. I can choose to be the person I want others with prejudice to get to know. Influence those I can – the people around me. The people I interact with. But it starts with ME, not THEM. As I’ve written earlier, if you want to stop racism, start treating people as individuals.

The last thing I’ll write about Racism today is that in the woke culture of 2020, being accused of Racism seems to be THE ultimate sin. I can’t think of anything else that tops it. You could be accused of pedophilia and find allies to support you. Spousal / child abuse? We have to hear the whole story before we can pass judgement. Religious heresy or idolatry? You can’t judge people who have different beliefs. But if don’t fully embrace unnatural equality of outcome based on racial segmentation, then you’re the worst offender on earth.

A lot of negative attention has also been given to law enforcement earlier this year, some deservedly so. Defund the Police was a curious tactic used by the protestors. I’m actually in favor of private security vs. State / Federal Law Enforcement. But, like many angry mobs, these people (some of whom were even in government) started pushing for it without a plan to fill the void. And then they were surprised when crime, particularly violent crime, began to skyrocket.

The one thing I hope that doesn’t fall out of the public eye is the terrible practice of Qualified Immunity. It’s a practice that should never have begun and has been responsible for countless bad cops getting away with no recourse or repercussions for abusive and illegal behavior while wearing a badge. My fear is that the storm has calmed and most people will not think about it until the next big event.

And of course, this was the year of BLM vs. All Lives Matter. It was / is mind numbing to see how many lemmings simply followed the social media crowd of embracing the BLM Organization, the same one that looks to tear down the traditional nuclear family structure and has bragged about being well-trained in Marxism. I’m sure you’ve had more than you cared to see on the BLM vs. All Lives Matter banality so I’ll spare you this time. I’ll just say that if you really want to stand up for Black people’s causes, be original. Say something like “Black people are important.” “I stand with Black people.” “Equal treatment under the law for all people” But don’t align yourself with Marxist / anti-family thugs.

Was there any good in 2020?

As terrible as it might sound, this year actually had some bright spots for me and my family. Before everything started to shut down, the 3 younger boys and I enjoyed a nice ski trip to CO with my parents. It was their first time skiing / snow boarding. For me, it was a great opportunity to connect with the younger ones. We had such a great time and they can’t wait to hit the slopes again.

We’ve lived in our current home in SC for almost 5 years. It was new construction, and we’ve been incredibly blessed with everything concerning our home. With one exception. Our neighbors were an older couple that were insufferable. There’s no other way to describe them. They were a menace to the neighborhood, constantly calling the county sheriff about children playing outside or people parking in front of their home, etc.

Well this year, on MY BIRTHDAY, they moved out. There’s a lot more detail involved, but needless to say, it was the best birthday present I could have asked for.

On top of that, God blessed us with incredible new neighbors. They’re a young couple with small children, they love the Lord, and share my passion for FIREWORKS. This year’s 4th of July celebration was such a breath of fresh air.

Literally.

Most of us had been cooped up in our homes for weeks. We finally got out, sat on our patios, laughed and joked with each other and just celebrated our independence blowing stuff up. It was glorious.

Another bright spot was having my sister live with us for 3 months this Spring/Summer. She’s in the Hospitality industry and quite the chef / foodie. When states began shutting down, I immediately recommended she move it with us and save some money on rent and utilities until things opened up again. Well for 3 months, she and my wife and girls were on a mission to test / experiment / invent some of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a long time. (And I normally eat quite well since my wife is an amazing cook.)

I also began working from home again. Years ago, I worked from home full time for 6 years so it wasn’t a big transition for me (although I do miss having a dedicated office in our old TX home). Still, not having a commute everyday and being able to see my family has been an incredible blessing. I don’t know when / if I’m ever going to be called back into the office, but I would not be upset if this arrangement could go on forever.

Our second daughter also graduated from high school and started working 5-6 days a week. That’s 2 now that have graduated. 5 more to go. It’s wonderful to see God working in their lives and entering their next chapters.

As I think about 2020 ending, God has been faithful. He’s kept us safe. He’s never let us go hungry. We’re all in good health. And we’ve never lived in fear. There’s so much for which we should give thanks. Looking ahead to 2021, I’m excited to see where He will lead us. I wish all of you a Happy New Year!

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