Stochastic Events and Change, Trust the Narrative

All, all that you dream 
Comes to shine in silver lining 
And clouds, clouds change the scene 
Rain starts washing all these cautions 
Right into your life, make you realize 
Just what is true, what else can I do 
Just follow the rule 
Keep your eyes on the road that's ahead of you 

            Paul Barrere / William H Payne

A spectre is haunting America. The spectre of uncertainty. The last time I witnessed this much uncertainty in standard events was in 1979, when things seemed pretty unstable. The events of 1979 were pretty straightforward, and we knew why things were happening. Random events continued to be random, and we had a defined understanding of what the issues were.

Good things and bad things happen over a period of time. The stochastic nature of events is part of the ebb and flow of time and existence. My dad used to tell me, “You take the good with the bad. Most times, it all evens out.” So, I took heart in his words and found them to be true for the most part.

When you see events happen sequentially in one direction, those events are not stochastic and tend to be planned. However, thinking about events over the past couple of years and the decisions that both ends have made on the political spectrum makes you wonder what is going on in America.

You know something is up when you hear “trust the science” or “follow the narrative” statements and proclamations.  Then you see people shouted down when they question the “narrative” or the “science” you know something is being sold to the population and is not a free flow narrative.  

For example, America discovered a virus called Covid–19. Immediately all these deaths occur in nursing homes, particularly in the urban areas. In my opinion, that is not random. It is a scare tactic indicating that everyone better hide. “Are we all going to die?” I heard one little girl ask her mother. My wife and I hid in our house and went to the store every three weeks for supplies. We didn’t visit our elderly relatives because we may kill them.

I tried my best to understand how some of these things are random. But then, we had riots once all the people were off the street. The riots had an especially big impact on small businesses, causing massive vacancies, as I have detailed on the website . I watched TV as a legitimate protestor, an elderly black female, was pushed to the ground when she tried to stop masked rioters from breaking store windows. These kinds of incidents are not random. This was an attack on our way of life, targeting the backbone of America, Mom, and Pop Shops.

Sitting in my house, I thought about what would happen if the protestors started coming into my neighborhood and looting my hood. My wife, who is anti-gun, seriously talked about the need to get a weapon to protect ourselves. So, you have people scared, and there is a run on buying guns and ammo.

Now you have mass shootings in public schools and my old target area South Street Headhouse District. Philadelphia has become like the old west. This may be an outgrowth of an increased number of life goals being blocked to the point that someone feels they need to act. I would suppose that the question is more about the lack of civility allowed when people are shouted down. Then you have people who identify as the underclass and seek retribution even if it means the end of their life or incarceration. That is a pretty powerful emotion.  

Think about White Privilege as 57.8 percent white, 18.7 percent Hispanic, 12.4 percent Black, and six percent Asian, which indicates that more white people get chances than others. As I delineated in past columns, there was massive discrimination against black people 100 years after the civil war, particularly in the South, that I witnessed first-hand, as a union organizer in Memphis, the sheer disdain for black people by whites. Many of those people had not much more than the black people but were encouraged to feel a step above others based upon their skin color. 

Redlining and restrictive real estate covenants led to hyper-segregation, and the welfare system led to a life of a separate set of rules for those on the public dole as a new form of slavery. These are not stochastic events. These are events that were planned. I tend to think that most white people have no animosity toward minorities, but for a long time, there was social pressure to accept the “nationalistic narrative.”

Maybe in the long term, this is part of the ebb and flow of time and existence, as my dad said when I was young.  

The experiences of today feature attacks on religion. We have a constitution that identifies five freedoms it protects — speech, religion, press, assembly, and the right to petition the government. Together, these five guaranteed freedoms make the people of the United States of America the freest in the world.

The freedom of religion for a long time pushed a national narrative that if you did not believe in god, you pretty much should not tell anyone that because you would be ostracized, and one must look to Madalyn Murray in the 50s and how she was portrayed as evil for supporting the separation of church and state.

In all of this, and I have given a bunch of examples through time on both ends of the spectrum, I believe there is a common denominator who pushes these narratives, people with a lot of money and power. They bend the regulations and use their wealth in the courts to their advantage. This is who we called the elites, George W. Bush called him his base, but when you are rich and powerful, I would expect there has to be a leader. I had never witnessed someone with enough gall and audacity say something like that…and people cheered.

So, what happens with a global elite pushing for the “Chinese Model,” a world government and unified leadership. Does their value set protect: speech, religion, press, assembly, and the right to petition the government? Or is it about the suppression of speech, denigrating religion, the narrative as press coverage, making it hard to assemble, and endorsing rioting to petition the government?

Across these five areas, something does not seem random because they all happen in sequence and coordination. So, I urge you all… please “trust the science.”

Barry Cassidy is a freelance grant and economic development consultant. He can be reached at