Connection in Modern America

Most people in America don’t care about friendship or deep intimate relationships anymore. When dealing with others the citizens of this country would rather to be feared or to dominate others rather than be liked or even loved by them.

Couple

Most people in America don’t care about friendship or deep intimate relationships anymore. When dealing with others the citizens of this country would rather to be feared or to dominate others rather than be liked or even loved by them.

We wonder why we don’t know our neighbors all that well, why we don’t really try to connect with them, but we see that because we are ruled by psychopaths that everyone sees the game being played that way. We feel that either we have to manipulate, scare, or intimidate people into allowing us to rule over them, not to befriend them with kindness, generosity, and courtesy. So we either become prey or predator and most people would just rather sit it out, so we don’t correspond with those we live near.

Dinner Party

There is also such a thing as what is known as the “hook-up culture” whereby men and women jump into bed before getting to know one another all that well. They did a study on why people were doing this with some interesting, though not really surprising reasons. More than half of the respondents said they hooked up because they were hoping for a long term commitment. It seems in this day and age of how we can’t form proper relationships with people that we would use animal behavior in order to find a love. It also points to something more interesting I think and that is that most people in the hook-up culture must feel that their personalities are so bad that by sleeping with someone right off of the bat that you might coerce them into staying with them for an extended period of time. Seemingly, we have lost the ability to connect with others on a deeper level, maybe a more spiritual level whereby we don’t view the other in terms of being us being prey or they being ours.

I also wonder what ever happened to our well wishes for others. When was the last time someone asked if you’d eaten or were hungry? When was the last time someone cooked you a meal? When was the last time someone checked on you without giving you the business? When was the last time we felt close to someone, even people you might see everyday? DT

We have lost our human touch for others because we decided the upper crust, with there psychopathic tendencies to maim, dominate, or kill is the proper way for us to behave toward one another.

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Voting

When you go to the polls you are acknowledging that you approve of the voting system in this country and that you are willing to give credence to candidates on the ballot at the time.

Ballot Box

When you go to the polls you are acknowledging that you approve of the voting system in this country and that you are willing to give credence to candidates on the ballot at the time.

What if both candidates are piles of crap or you choose to vote for “the lesser of two evils”?

Evil is still evil and why would you vote for evil or a pile of crap?

 

In life we can choose who we give our time and energy to. This includes how and where we spend our money.

Speding Money

In essence when you buy consumer goods you are voting with your money. Research who you are buying from first.

 

Freddy Kruger

A way to resolve the issues that seem to be plaguing the political system and the consumer culture in American society is to turn your back on them both.

There is a movie franchise called Nightmare on Elm Street. The first of the series was released in the mid-1980’s and, to those who don’t know, the creepy man pictured was killing innocent kids in their sleep as revenge against their parents who burned him alive because he was a monster.

In this movie Johnny Depp (his first acting role) plays a kid named Glen and at one point tells the protagonist, Nancy, played by Heather Langenkamp, that there is an old Native myth that says the way to destroy evil is to turn your back on it and that act takes its power away.

In the end, Nancy does just this and Freddy dies. (Spoiler alert: only for a while).

I advise doing the same with the political hacks in Washington, D.C. and their corporate crony masters.

And a friendly reminder, folks: If voting mattered they wouldn’t let us do it.

The American Empire Part 6 Conclusion

The American Empire will collapse someday…as all other great civilizations have in the past when they’ve turned from truth, tradition, and soul to mindless amusements, the God of government and money, and brutality.

an inconvenient truth meme

The American Empire will collapse someday…as all other great civilizations have in the past when they’ve turned from truth, tradition, and soul to mindless amusements, the God of government and money, and brutality.

In the end it will go like other empires, burning at the hands of barbarians, lost in the sands of time with only broken monuments as a remembrance of something staggering and wonderful in its inception and a slide into moral and ethical decay.

Can we save it?

I believe we already hit the iceberg and are sinking like the Titanic did some years ago. The main reason I believe this is because everyone has become accustomed to their lifestyles regardless of what they might hold. And in order to save it we would have to change a lot of things about how we act in our communities and around the world. There are a lot of people in high and low places with their snouts in the trough. In fact everyone has a part in this game though it’s not completely our fault: most of us were handed this life and told to get their piece of the pie.

Sadly, America will be remembered, as all empires are, as once a beacon of hope for its people and those who wanted to partake in it from foreign lands who then slid into an avalanche of things that didn’t matter and concluded with non-traditional values.

I don’t care what happens at this point. I feel the empire will outlast me. But someday it will be gone and whether it happens in my lifetime or not is moot. I feel like if it does collapse in my day that I will actually get some enjoyment out of the sublime destruction of a Titanic unsinkable ship as it breaks up in the sea. But, I would also like to be there to throw a life raft to those in need and to rudder toward calmer waters.

The American Empire Part 3

Part three of my series of blog posts on the American Empire details something that has plagued all past empires and what is affecting America and most of the Western democracies: political malfeasance.

pope-benedict-xvi-president-george-bush-laura-bush-andrews-afb-70550

Part three of my series of blog posts on the American Empire details something that has plagued all past empires and what is affecting America and most of the Western democracies:  political malfeasance.

In Rome we know that at some point politicians began using their positions of power for economic enrichment, began separating themselves from those they were charged with representing, and began flights of fancy in the entertainment world.

Does any of this sound strikingly familiar in American government?

The White House

We know that a majority of American elected federal congress people have become millionaires on salaries that don’t often pay more than low six-figure incomes. Many live in expensive neighborhoods, others have more than one house. Some even have million-dollar mansions. Some have two or three highly priced automobiles.

How can this be??

Well, one thing we know is that recently congress passed legislation that essentially gives members of congress a free pass on insider trading information. That is they can profit from knowing beforehand information about publicly traded companies; something illegal to the American peasantry.

We also know that the best way for a corporation to turn higher profits or to remain profitable is not through increases in advertising budgets, not expansion of factory spaces or transferring to more favorable marketplaces in the country or the world, not even technological upgrades within their facilities can give boosts to their companies’ bottom lines better than sending lobbyists to Washington, D.C.

DT

Politics as spectator sport has become part of the American milieu and we can see this in DT’s rants on Twitter and his fight with “fake news.”

Of course all of this is just the evolution of political leaders being entertainment including Obama picking his brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament; of Bubba going on Arsenio to blow his horn or his current attempt at novel writing; of W. and his paintings. (Hitler was an artist too).

The Roman Emperor Nero had his hand in many different art forms and had to pay people to see and applaud his performances and works.

Not to be outdone in modern times, many of our politicians including DT have to pay people to come cheer at their bogus rallies. Both sides of the politic spectrum are guilty of propping themselves up with false facades.

Mount Rushmore

Lastly, politicians are ever increasingly moving away from the masses they represent through armed Secret Service agents after they retire and giving themselves the Cadillac medical and retirement benefits only befitting government gods.

I wonder what the founders would have thought of governance in modern America.

Part 4 later this week

The American Empire Part 2

One observation about historical empires deals with their economies.

Money

One observation about historical empires deals with their economies. Part of what we know today is that the Roman Empire began devaluing its money over time. This is due to ever expansion of the Empire and its governmental base. To pay for the foreign wars and expansion of the the Imperial state the government believed that the money from its conquests would bring in more money. But as is the case government always  overestimates how much it will cost any endeavor and how much will be made in return on investment. Over the span of 200 or so years the Roman Denarii went from pure silver to less than 1%. The idea came about during Nero’s reign. The thinking was that by slowly decreasing the amount of metals (gold and silver) in its coins that it could mint more coins to pay off its debts and to maintain the security and expansion efforts of the empire. (The Roman’s didn’t have the leisure and ease of using a fiat currency like we use today–they only used coins for currency exchanges.)

But like the Roman Empire the value of the world’s reserve currency, the United States Dollar, has slowly been eroded over time. If the United States needs money for whatever purpose they simply go to the Federal Reserve Bank and ask for them to print more money. Over time the US dollar will be worthless like the Roman currency of its day.

Money 3

So why do foreign countries accept the USD for exchanges of goods and services? I think it is simply because we have given them dollars for their goods over time and they have such a reserve of them that if the American currency collapses they will be stuck with dollars that are completely worthless while they will have given away products in exchange for essentially nothing. So it is in their best interest to keep propping up the United States by giving us goods and services for dollars hoping that in the long run the economy gets better and the currency doesn’t lose value. Robbing Peter to pay Paul comes to mind.

Money 5

Another element of empires’ economies includes massive income inequalities and they all tend to have top-heavy economies that become fragile over time. This occurs because the haves (the upper 1% having 90% of the wealth) have way more than they need or deserve and the have nots are left to fight over scraps. If enough people decide they will no longer be debt slaves and consume less of their master’s products the game will end…and so goes the American experience as well.

Money 4

Finally, taxation in empires usually run amok. Government works including especially those involving the military have to heavily tax the lower and middle classes in order to pay for their boondoggles. The upper crust makes the tax code and they make it so they don’t have to pay their share of using the government for their corporate welfare projects. The lower classes also need government handouts in the form of welfare in order to pay for their meager living.  We know that during the Roman days that in order to gain and keep political power in the empire that politicians gave the lower classes bread and circuses. Bread in the US empire is welfare. Circuses in America are the sports and entertainment industries.

Money 6

PART 3 OF MY AMERICAN EMPIRE SERIES WILL BE ADDED ON MONDAY. STAY TUNED SPORTS FANS, IT’S GONNA TO BE A STUNNER.

The American Empire part 1

Throughout history, civilizations rise to heights in academia, science, the arts, governance, philosophy, et cetera that distinguishes them from other civilizations of their ages and puts them in the pantheon of great historical empires…until their inevitable decline and collapse.

American Flag

Throughout history, civilizations rise to heights in academia, science, the arts, governance, philosophy, et cetera that distinguishes them from other civilizations of their ages and puts them in the pantheon of great historical empires…until their inevitable decline and collapse. In no particular order the Greeks, the Romans, the Carthaginians, the Egyptians, the Sumerians, and at least 30 other distinct civilizations are known to have had some impact on the larger human narrative on earth in the last 5000 or more years…and then are lost in the sands of time.

The United States of America is also one of the hegemonic of its day. Its Constitution had yet to ever be attempted in human history and though many in Western culture want to disregard the founding fathers because some were slave owners there is no doubt that their spirit to the world has brought more light than the darkness of any of their faults.

The Americans of the day fought for their independence from tyrannical royals in Britain and made a new way of governance that included life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Yes, there were slaves. (By the way, there were plenty of white slaves which had harsher lives than African slaves, but I don’t want to ruffle anyone feathers about that fact.) But it would be less than 100 years after freeing ourselves from tyranny that the United States of America would fight a war to free all men and women from state sponsored slavery. A quick note: some say the Civil War was more about a dictatorial jab by the American government of the time to force southerners into economic hardships brought by the northerners who had most of the American Government including President Lincoln in their pockets and wasn’t really fought over the right to own slaves. I encourage you to read some of the things Lincoln said about African slaves to draw your own conclusions as to what the Civil War was actually about. Maybe this was the first of many acts by our government to bed down with corporations for their own political and financial gains.

Certainly, the invasion of the Philippines Islands in 1899 signaled the beginning of American’s use of the military to strong arm foreign natives into giving very profitable economic concessions to American corporations in their countries. While Western history books talk about the Filipinos declaring war against America, I would ask you if you believe that considering the Gulf of Tonkin incident that led to the Vietnam War? For further reading on what was happening with the American imperial military at that time I would ask you read Smedley Butler’s, “War is a Racket.”

If we are to first agree that America is an empire then we can move onto where it is currently at in regard to its powers in the world and at what part of the Imperial life cycle it is at right now. No doubt there have been many books written about the rise and fall of the American Empire dating back to the early 1900s. A more “modern” look I have acquired is the book by Jim Nelson Black called, “When Nations Die. America on the Brink: Ten Warning Signs of a Culture in Crisis,” and I will be using some of Mr. Black’s wisdom to highlight where we are at today considering his book was published in 1994.

(As I write this blog post right now I am filled with a sense of foreboding and some trepidation because I feel treasonous to be speaking about the ills of a land I and many others love and because America was a bastion of hope and freedom the world hadn’t known before its founding many moons ago. Never the less, I’m hoping that I spend the rest of my life trying to free the good citizens of this great country from debt slavery and malice brought about by the oligarch ruling class in this country. Onward.)

Jim Nelson Black’s first warning sign of the decline of the American experience is lawlessness. He accurately points out that the end times for many historical civilizations included much lawlessness within the citizenry of their nations. He also equates the American experience as one of lawlessness and during the days when he researched and wrote his book, the early- to mid-1990s, crime was a bit more of a problem than today, and according to the FBI crime statistics (if you believe them) show a decline in overall criminality in America in the last 20 years.

We might conclude then that lawlessness is NOT a problem, but I will give some crime statistics for the year 2017 to prove that though it is down, crime is still a factor in American life.
(By the way, you can check these stats on the FBI’s website for verification if you so choose.)

Crime

So in 2017 there were 7.6 million property crimes. MILLION.

2017 saw larceny-thefts at 5.5 million. Or 15,000 per DAY.

2017 had 1.4 million burglaries.

There were 773,000 motor vehicle thefts.

319,000 robberies were committed. The price of having shiny baubles is the possibility that someone will forcibly take them from you or take them while you aren’t looking.

There were 1.28 million violent crimes in America in 2017. Or approximately 3,500 times per day that someone in America is beaten, stabbed, murdered, or hurt in some physical way by a criminal assailant. Sometimes these criminals are very close to us, sometimes they are law enforcement officials.

There were 810,000 aggravated assaults in America in 2017.

Statistical reporting of rape has change in the last 5 years. In 2017 the new rape report includes 135, 000 rapes. In the old system it would be 99,000. I will let you read the differences on what the FBI considered rape then and what it considers rape now. I would also like to point out that the FBI does NOT include instances of incest and statutory rape as part of the “rape” statistic. These are apparently included in another data set for some odd reason. I would also like to point out that the FBI’s definition of statutory rape is an adult having “consensual” sex with an underage FEMALE. (Sorry, boys, your rape doesn’t count at all.) So there were at least 271 rapes every day in America by the old standard and 370 per day by the new one.
1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetimes. Almost half of female and male rape victims were raped by an acquaintance. (No wonder we don’t get to know our neighbors well anymore.) 45.4% of female and 29% of male rape survivors were raped by an intimate partner.

Domestic violence is also an issue in America. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.

And the big one, murder. 17,284 in 2017 America. On average almost 2 people per HOUR were killed by another human being in America.

(One last note. The FBI admits that these crime statistics are lower than the actual number of crimes committed because some, maybe, many crime victims didn’t report their assaults to law enforcement officials).

Crime Scene Tape Color

Is crime (lawlessness) a problem in America? I think the statistics speak for themselves while many say that criminality is down and things are going quite well in the empire. I will agree with Mr. Black that the end times are nigh.

Part 2 of this series of blog posts will be put out later this week. I hope you will join me in watching the Titanic slowly sink into the North Atlantic.