New releases and updates

I worked to get some things done before the Thanksgiving holiday, including three releases and major inventory/website updates. New releases include the second Ott & Ren novella ‘Crevice’ (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081X12347), the first Death Derby expansion ‘Nature’s Rage’ (https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/death-derby:-nature-s-rage-expansion), a new short story ‘Highlelujah’ (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081PCVLS9).

A new short story, ‘A Whisper in the Air’ was added to my reprint collection ‘Whatever’ (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FUT8EUO), and ‘Aftermath’ and ‘Ruination’ have been discontinued and ‘Plague: Vestiges’ (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081X8Z346) created from Ginny Bowman and Jenner Michaud’s stories that were in them. This update to the ‘Plague’ books completes the update that was started a few months ago when all of my own material was combined into ‘Plague: Moss and John’ (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V4MK8SR) and ‘Plague: 10th Anniversary’ has been discontinued. My website has been updated to reflect the title changes. Remember to log out and log back into your Kindle reader for the latest updates to books in your library.

Have a great holiday!

United State of Problem Denial

“Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by fighting back.”― Piet Hein, Grooks 1

“The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long.”― Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations

Problems are something people like to avoid. It’s a rare person that will leap headfirst into a problem without being prodded to do so by others like a stubborn mule. It’s rarer that the person will find a simple solution without a great deal of self investigation and the stripping away of preconceived notions. Solutions to any real problem do not come easily, and solutions are much harder to find when fouled knowledge and psychological defense mechanisms are between the person and solution. Right now, the United States has an abundance of problems that aren’t being addressed due to denial and excuse making.

Propaganda News- News organizations have become fully untrustable. When they aren’t pushing news about people dying, they’re pushing their political stance and trying to get people to ‘see it their way’. Opinion has therefore replaced real news coverage. This includes hyperbole and blatant lies combined with the will to cover up crimes, such as the Epstein story that was cut and the leaking of which that got a reporter fired without any evidence she was even a part of the leak. They willfully push polls with questionable results such as the ones leading up to the ’16 election that showed Hillary with a large lead, and also push Neo-McCarthyism by fueling the Russophobia that has taken hold of people who don’t actually stop and think about our own problems: the country has an increasing obesity rate, increasing overdose rate, increasing suicide rate, increasing prescription drug use, increasing homelessness, declining educational standards, colleges bloated with ideology instead of learning, increasing debt load, a government that barely functions between taking money from lobbyists, all while exporting our manufacturing and along with it our real economy. (See some of my other essays for more information on those subjects.) And people think Russians could do something worse to us. Yeah, they could do worse, they could nuke us, which is the only thing remotely worse than what we’re doing to ourselves.

Strategic Overstretch- The United States has ~800 military bases spread throughout ~80 countries, depending on the source and what people want to call a ‘base’. No nation has ever survived such strategic overstretch. The ability to be strong on all fronts does not exist. Ask the English. The Spanish. Portuguese. The Dutch. Rome. All their empires fell due to not having the resources to properly defend the territory they set up shop on, combined with confrontations with all the enemies that went after them that were created from them carving pieces of influence out of the world around them. This is made even more troublesome with the fact that even many of our allies have problems with us. South Korea is tiring of the whole ‘Korean War’ fiasco. Europe is tiring of our outdated thinking that says the ‘USSR’, which hasn’t existed for decades, is still a problem. Iraq wants us kicked out of that country. Japan is weary of our undisciplined troops killing their citizens. We don’t have the means to maintain the status quo as it is for much longer with a military that can’t win a war against people in Toyotas. Not to mention the questionable dealings with militants which always end with them turned against us and trying to bomb us. Americans have a notion that WW3 would be us and our allies against some ‘bad guy’, when in reality, it’s shaping up to be us and a couple satellite nations like the United Kingdom against the world, with us being the ‘bad guy’. And we will lose spectacularly if that happens, because we’ve turned out too many people who are so emotionally weak they’re hurt by words alone and will fold like paper mache in the face of an actual fight.

Calcified Government- So many of the people in our Federal government have been there so long it’s no wonder they still talk like the USSR is a thing, because it was when they first entered office. Our governments, both at the state and Federal levels, are full of people bloated on lobbyist money due to pandering to special interest groups for decades. They’re so disconnected from the world and the country in general that they don’t even realize that trying to say something like in Bolivia isn’t a ‘coup’ is like someone trying to say Epstein killed himself. Only people that habitually buy such nonsense on a regular basis without any thought believe it anymore. The Deep State gave up trying to be secret and essentially made itself fully visible, which is the best thing about the Trump Presidency that would never have happened if Hillary or Bernie had won ’16: Hillary pandered to the Deep State and Bernie pandered to people for votes. Our government still thinks people believe what they say, rather than rolling their eyes. The government still thinks we have a network of allies across the globe, rather than a few nations being bullied into being allies. They still think people think they’ll be able to retire one day. Of course, some people in the country still think those things, especially those who are older who want to deny the situation we’re in and those who are barely adults that swallow propaganda like it’s breakfast cereal.

Social Security fund- Some people under 50 still think they’ll retire. I assure you that is a joke of cosmic proportions for everyone that isn’t disciplined enough to save money and pay everything they have off. And the joke is on almost everyone. The Social Security fund is running out of money. Meanwhile, we’re spending billions on war machines while sending billions more to other countries to buy them as allies for a short amount of time. There’s your retirement and disability: up in smoke because of some bullshit ‘Commie’ threat that doesn’t exist (except for Marxist professors on campuses). Chances are those that think they’ll retire will really join the ranks of the homeless or those that work until the day they drop dead on the job, while those entirely dependent on disability will end up eating pet food like some of those already living entirely off SS payments, which isn’t a pretty sight. I’ve seen it for myself in Florida.

Failed ‘Education’ System- I won’t get into how the rest of the world is ahead of us in math and science. That’s so old news it’s not funny. But I will point out that many colleges have reduced themselves to bastions of hooliganism and ignorance based on ideology. I won’t get into the ‘professors’ that want to push Marxism or those that want to claim there’s no biological difference between males and females (even though these are evidence of what I’ve said for a while now: the entire ‘education’ system needs revamped, except I don’t think people really understand what I mean: I mean the entire system needs reduced to fundamental basics, all ideology removed, and then rebuilt into something that benefits society instead of working against society as it’s currently doing) but we certainly have hooligans running rampant on campuses because of the ignorance they’re swallowing. (I won’t digress to how I refuse to go to college due to not wanting to risk coming out stupider and with a narrower view than when I entered, because as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said, ‘Education doesn’t make you smarter.’ and what we see on these campuses is proof of that.) The latest demonstration of this is the ‘protesters’ at Ann Coulter’s Berkeley appearance yesterday. Protesting is one thing, physically barring people from entering a building is another. That’s oppression. Pure and simple. Protest all you want against who you want, I could care less, but you’re actively oppressing people once you try to keep them from something they have the right to go to. That falls back to the essay I wrote the other day, ‘Freedom: A Great Lie’, in which I point out the moment you say you can make the rules you’re saying someone else can’t, which means you become the oppressor. Argue with circle talk all day long about how ‘they’re standing up for bigotry and it’s their right’: it doesn’t matter, because they’re making themselves the bigots, and if I accept their view that Coulter is a bigot for the sake of argument, it’s bigots against bigots, which is called ‘even’, meaning neither has a right to claim having ‘a higher moral ground’. Not only that, but using your free speech to try taking away another person’s free speech breaks the ninth amendment that says you can’t use your rights to take away another person’s rights. So forcibly keeping someone from speaking or others from hearing them speak is bigotry, oppression, and a violation of the constitution.

None of these problems can be sorted out and fixed until people stop denying them and pushing the blame on others. We’re not special. No one is ‘after us’. No one is screwing up our society except ourselves. Why these problems have gotten to the point they have gotten is because of denial and sticking of the head in the sand so far only toes show. The ‘Russophobia’ is a perfect example of it: let’s blame some other country for messing with our elections instead of admitting the person that lost laughed at a man’s brutal murder and made decisions that lead to the brutal death of one of our diplomats in response to Gaddafi’s death. This mentality is pure denial and excuse making, and denial and excuse making always lead to catastrophic failures (just go ask Boeing how it worked out for them). The only way to start turning this around is to take responsibility for our own bad decisions and the bad decisions of our government and the people that are part of it. Nonsensical excuses aren’t going to work much longer. Pushing blame on others isn’t going to work much longer. Circle talk rationalization that doesn’t really say anything isn’t going to work much longer. Shrugging and saying ‘it’ll be okay, something will get figured out’ isn’t going to work much longer. Until we take responsibility, I stand by the answer I gave to a direct question two years ago: ‘Do you think Trump will be our last President?’ ‘No, but I think the one after him could be.’

Further reading:

Facts vs. Opinion and Fox News-https://community.aarp.org/t5/Politics-Current-Events/FACTS-VS-OPINION-AND-FOX-NEWS/td-p/2017676

Russian Federation: Official Analysis of American Russophobia-https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/04/21/russian-federation-official-analysis-of-american-russophobia/

CBS News Fires Staffer Over Leaked Amy Robach and Jeffrey Epstein Audio-https://www.thewrap.com/cbs-news-fires-staffer-over-leaked-amy-robach-and-jeffrey-epstein-audio/

The US Has Military Bases in 80 Countries. All of Them Must Close.-https://www.thenation.com/article/the-us-has-military-bases-in-172-countries-all-of-them-must-close/

The Danger of Imperial Overstretch-https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/07/15/the-danger-of-imperial-overstretch/

If North Korea and Japan went to war, South Koreans would support Kim Jong-un, says new survey-https://www.rt.com/news/472834-south-korea-kim-versus-japan/

NATO experiencing ‘brain death’, France’s Macron says-https://in.reuters.com/article/uk-nato-france-idINKBN1XH1H9

Iraqi defense minister gives US troops 4 weeks to leave Iraq-https://nypost.com/2019/10/23/iraqi-defense-minister-gives-us-troops-4-weeks-to-leave-iraq/

US troops in Japan banned from drinking after fatal crash-https://apnews.com/5026201eca474b1cbda3aa8560255d72

79 Members Of Congress Have Been In Office For At Least 20 Years-https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-18/79-members-congress-have-been-office-least-20-years

Deep State Admits They’ve Finally “Gotten a Grip on Trump” Liken Him to George W. Bush-https://thedailycoin.org/2017/09/22/deep-state-admits-theyve-finally-gotten-grip-trump-liken-george-w-bush/

Social Security is running out of money, with benefits on track to be reduced by 2035-https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/social-security-running-money-benefits-track-reduced-2035/story?id=62557507

Congresswoman: Some of My Constituents ‘Eat Dog Food When Their Food Stamps Run Out’-https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/congresswoman-some-my-constituents-eat-dog-food-when-their-food-stamps-run-out

Homelessness Among the Elderly Expected to Triple in 10 Years-https://invisiblepeople.tv/homelessness-among-the-elderly-expected-to-triple-in-10-years/

Don’t celebrate Karl Marx. His Communism has a death count in the millions.-https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/05/05/karl-marx-communism-death-column/578000002/

Wharton’s Adam Grant eviscerates viral Google memo: Differences between men and women are slim to none-https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/08/adam-grant-on-google-memo-differences-between-sexes-are-slim-to-none.html

UC Berkeley P.D. release names of people arrested at Coulter event-https://www.ktvu.com/news/uc-berkeley-p-d-release-names-of-people-arrested-at-coulter-event

Ninth Amendment-https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/ninth_amendment

Benghazi victims’ families file suit against Clinton-https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-benghazi-families-sue-hillary-clinton-20160809-story.html

Hillary on Gaddafi – “we came, we saw, he died.”-https://youtu.be/UtH7iv4ip1U

How Airbus finally seized the Boeing 737’s title as the world’s most popular plane-https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/a320-more-popular-than-737-most-orders/

Freedom: An International Illusion

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”
― Saul Bellow, To Jerusalem and Back

Most people like watching magicians. A good magician can pull off tricks that appear to be as real as the day is long through a series of methods involving subterfuge, sleigh of hand, and outright psychological manipulation that targets the propensity people have to not really pay attention when they think they are. I’d suspect that everyone has seen the classic trick of cutting someone in half. But I suspect fewer people know how it works and even fewer watch the crowds viewing such a thing with more curiosity than the act being carried out. If the crowd is watched, you’ll see three general reactions to such a sight: laughter and clapping from those that enjoy the trick, confusion from those that wonder how in the world the magician did it, and horror from those that actually think it’s real. The illusion of ‘freedom’ is one to which most people laugh and clap. But to ‘freedom’ they clap because they think it’s real. On the other hand, those that shake their head in horror at a show of ‘freedom’ are those that can see how the tricks are being manipulated. It’s the exact opposite of how people react to a magician’s tricks.

I could explain how the US has more people incarcerated than any other country, which means we aren’t ‘free’. I could explain how the US politics are corrupted by a bully attitude that makes them think they’re really in control, which would mean we aren’t free. I could explain how the existence of courts indicates we’re not free. I could explain how the political domination of only two major parties shows we’re not free. I could read the Pledge of Allegiance and point out that ‘Republic’ is mentioned, but not ‘Democracy’. But the actual reasons that we aren’t, and by extension no one else, is even more fundamental. It’s so fundamental that people don’t even think about it, because they accept it at face value like those that recoil in horror at a magician’s trick are accepting it at face value. And when you accept something at face value, you tend not to think about it, as the majority of people don’t think about the illusion of the word ‘freedom’.

Alliances- The United States has a long history of entering into alliances. The longest running alliance is NATO, or The North American Treaty Organization, which the US has been a part of for 70 years. This treaty specifically states that an attack on one is an attack on all, as most military alliances state in one way or another. The problem is that there are a total of 29 countries part of that alliance. That means that there are 28 other countries that have direct influence on the United States through that single treaty. A prime example of this influence is the conflict surrounding the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. We tell Germany, don’t do that, they responded with what amounts to ‘bugger off, we’re done causing trouble’. Then the EU and other countries get involved, why? Because Germany is in the EU, an alliance itself, along with NATO, and those countries are worried about ‘Russian influence’. The alliance system means Germany isn’t free of other countries influence. People like to forget that an alliance is a rule structure that ties two or more countries together and therefore pushes influence both ways. There is nothing ‘free’ about any alliance nor can any nation who’s in an alliance claim to be ‘free’. It would be like a state in the US claiming to be ‘free’ or like a county in a state making the same claim. They’re subject to a rule structure that precludes any notion of ‘freedom’.

Trade deals- The US has free trade agreements with a total of 20 countries, not counting other trade deals with many others. Having a ‘free trade agreement’ subjects the agreeing nations to rules that are laid out by the World Trade Organization. All countries in the agreement have to follow those rules if they want to remain in the agreement. This puts their economies at the influence of each other. This puts their trade at the influence of each other. This puts their money systems at the influence of each other. This means that their economies are fundamentally ‘unfree’ and subject to other nation’s interest. Calling a nation free that is part of a free trade agreement is like saying a US nickle is free without taking into account all the rules and regulations that surrounds that nickle in the larger currency system.

Geneva Conventions- Not only is the US and other nations subject to the rule structures of multiple military alliances and trade agreements, but they’re also subject to the Geneva Conventions that has been ratified by every nation on the planet. This means in short that no country is even ‘free’ when it comes to how they make war upon another nation. Everyone is tied to everyone else in having influence over them to keep their war making in check.

The idea of ‘freedom’ is an illusion like that created by a good magician. The purpose of the illusion of ‘freedom’ is to keep people docile and controlled, because the easiest way to keep people under control is to present to them an illusion of freedom. I’m not saying this is fundamentally wrong. Few people can handle truths on this level, they get unruly when they realize their domesticated world isn’t real, which is why the illusion of freedom exists in the first place. I’m just saying that before you start tearing your nation up for ‘freedom’, you really want to examine what that actually means. Chances are it doesn’t mean what you think it means, but rather what you want to think it means. This also why the ‘woke’ culture is so annoying to others without the ‘woke’ understanding it: what they say is based on illusions that most people don’t buy. You have to be able to sell your illusion for people to buy it and some are more easily sold than others while some people are more easily sold to than others. However, that doesn’t mean everyone will always buy them, because some people think about things rather than regurgitating words and phrases some magician sold to them and they evaluate their lives based on the rule structures around them rather than the illusions being sold to the masses.

Additional info:

History of United States and Its Alliances: https://www.realclearhistory.com/articles/2019/04/01/history_of_united_states_and_its_alliances_428.html

Nord Stream 2: Go-ahead for Russian gas pipeline angers Ukraine: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50247793

Free Trade Agreements: https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements

What are Rules of Origin and how do they apply to Free Trade Agreements and tariffs?: https://www.austrade.gov.au/contact/faqs/what-are-rules-of-origin-and-how-do-they-apply-to-free-trade-agreements-and-tariffs

Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/geneva_conventions

Freedom: A Great Lie

“But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

I can’t say for sure where the notion of ‘freedom’ originated, I can only see that it’s pure propaganda. It’s the type of propaganda lots of people prefer to believe since it dulls the pain of their existence in a world that is fundamentally unfree. A world that is fundamentally oppressive and orthodox. A world that doesn’t care if you’re free as long as you think you are, so you don’t tear up the society you live within that makes the rules that ensure you’re never ‘free’. Freedom of action has never existed. Freedom of expression has never existed. Freedom of thought only exists until it’s spoke to the wrong people. The closest anyone ever gets to ‘freedom’ is willfully choosing the path they follow, whether that path is contained within the rules outlined by their society and is deemed ‘acceptable’ or not contained within those rules and considered ‘unacceptable’, which leads to them being punished in some way. This is an idea I’ve had for quite some time, far longer than the riots in Hong Kong have been taking place, but those riots and the circle talk presented by those defending them convinced me that this idea should be spoken.

Basically, ‘freedom’ doesn’t exist, what exists are ‘rule structures’, and even the people with their circle talk defending the HK riots know that is the truth (regardless of their ability to comprehend what they’re saying). Their arguments always circle back to ‘a new constitution’, seemingly without proper realization that a ‘new constitution’ is just a different rule structure, probably only slightly different, than what they have now. Their very argument for ‘freedom’ is an argument for freedom not existing while trying to claim it does. The irony in their words is as palpable as the fists they beat a woman with and the Molotovs they threw at cleanup crews.

One of the earliest mentions in history that I am aware of in which ‘freedom’ was used as propaganda is the conflict between the Greeks and Persians. The Greeks went to war to defend their ‘freedom’. But what type of ‘freedom’ did the Greeks have? Not much. The Spartans had a strict rule system based around their military that killed any child that wasn’t deemed strong enough or that had any deformities while laying out concrete guidelines on the place of men and women in society, all of which was supported on slave labor. Athens, the birthplace of ‘Democracy’, limited voting to male citizens only and only then after completing their military training. Some of the other Greek city-states also formed ‘democratic governments’ upon the same lines as Athens, but tended towards local kings, perhaps the most famous of which is Philip II of Macedon who fathered one of the greatest military leaders in history: Alexander the Great, who tried to make his subjects worship him as a god. As such, the ‘freedom’ they were fighting for wasn’t ‘freedom’, it was the right to their own rule structures. They had systems of punishment that were the predecessors of modern court systems, further proof that citizens of Greek city-states weren’t free to do as they wished.

In short, ‘freedom’ for one person means ‘oppression’ for another. To say you have the right to make the rules means that you’re saying someone else doesn’t. There’s nothing ‘free’ about a fight for ‘freedom’. It’s a form of oppression. Modern examples of this include the concept of ‘freedom of religion’, which isn’t ‘freedom’, it’s a concept that oppresses those that don’t agree that someone else can worship who/what they want. The gender pronoun laws are an even more modern example, since saying someone has the right to be called what they want means that someone’s thoughts to the opposite are being oppressed. Same thing with the Politically Correct culture that tries to limit words people can use, which oppresses those that have no issue with them. All of these things are examples of human being’s desire to control others while trying to make it appear they aren’t, as they attempt to explain away their own control freakishness so they don’t have to face what they’re really doing.

Some oppression is good. We oppress peoples’ will to rape and murder. We oppress peoples’ desire to cause mayhem against those they disagree with. We oppress peoples’ urge to keep certain members of society disenfranchised. But to call any of those things ‘freedom’ for anyone is an exercise in naivety: they’re targeted oppression for the good of society. Oppression as people think of as ‘oppression’ is best described as ‘oppression that doesn’t better society’. Show me a country with a constitution that bans any form of punishment no matter the offense, and I’ll show you a ‘free’ country. Until then, make the best of your rule structure and know you’re not free, and never will be regardless of the propaganda around you, unless you and your neighbor have the right to beat each other over the head with a stick without any form of social retribution.

Further info:

China slams Hong Kong judges after mask ruling, raising pressure on city’s freedoms: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/china-admonishes-hong-kong-judiciary-after-mask-ruling-raising-pressure-on-citys-tenuous-freedoms/2019/11/18/3e3999de-0a51-11ea-8054-289aef6e38a3_story.html

Woman attacked by protesters in Mong Kok, Hong Kong: https://youtu.be/ATO_roCP2BA

HK rioters throw firebombs at residents cleaning streets: https://youtu.be/uFOQB39juLc

Potential Sources of the Poisoned Mentality in US Politics

“The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

I like to watch people. People are interesting, even people that don’t agree with me. And twenty years of customer service experience has given me a lot of practice at it. As a CNA you learn to recognize when people feel good or bad or are drugged up. Doing construction, you learn how people react to strangers entering their homes to do work and how they react to a good or bad job. From food service, you learn how to recognize when someone is looking down on you and the subtle signs of being hungry. You learn how people react over money, both when receiving and when forced to pay it back, when doing check advances. When doing delivery work, you learn how to recognize the minute body language that could signify a threat and when competitive co-workers are edgy and looking for an advantage or are up to no good. While taking phone calls in service centers, you learn to operate without the vast well of information that body language provides about a person and to pay attention to phrasing and tone. As I tell people, and most people jump when told this to their face which creates an even larger reaction to read, I can read muscle twitches you don’t even know you’ve made. But as well as I can read people, which has allowed me to disarm many bad situations while in the infant stage, I’m unable to properly isolate the source of the mentality that has been projected into the US political environment starting just before the ’16 presidential election, which is the mentality the compels people to resort to personal attacks such as Hillary’s now infamous ‘deplorable’ brain fart that lost her the election and the accusations of ‘racist’, ‘misogynist’, and ‘extremist’ that are regular fodder in any dialog in which those part of the far Left doesn’t agree with which has led to a likewise response from people in the middle and on the Right. This isn’t to suggest that insults haven’t always been thrown back and forth between groups of people, but the rhetoric picked up serious steam after Hillary decided to label anyone that disagreed with her as ‘deplorables’ and pushed the idea that anyone disagreeing with her were ‘deserving strong condemnation’ per the definition of ‘deplorable’. Of course, some people just shout insults in return, but others write stories and essays, using the poison thrown back and forth (and at themselves) as social fodder to put the dysfunction of the political and social climate on display. It’s been a lot of fodder for people watchers and interesting fodder in a horror show kind of way.

Before getting into the possible sources of the poison that has bubbled up, I’m going to state where it didn’t come from. It’s not from the country being more divided than before, because the voter party affiliation has remained relatively constant between the major two political parties for some time. It’s not because Hillary was attacked first, because she was winning the ’16 Presidential election when the ‘deplorables’ comment was made that resulted in her losing. It’s not from the general conflict between Liberals and Conservatives, because that conflict is ages old. And it’s not because some group was suddenly downtrodden, because the overall US society has remained reasonably stable since the civil rights movements in the 60’s other than some riots caused by police violence. The source is nothing so simple. But what is the source? I have a few ideas, but since the truth is messy, I think it’s a bit of all of them in various degrees, plus more I’ve not considered.

The first suspect is social media. For the first time in history, people are able to easily hide behind fake accounts and mask their identity. This allows people to say stuff they wouldn’t otherwise say due to no consequences being attached to those words. Don’t like a politician but don’t want your name known? Make a fake account. Want to support odious ideological concepts but don’t want your name known? Make a fake account. Blocked or banned? Make a fake account. Want to harass a person or group? Make a fake account. The worst in people comes out when they can hide behind a fake name. No matter how harsh you can be when your name is attached to the words, you can be a million times worse when knowing the real you isn’t on display to be criticized. This emboldens people that would never say what they do otherwise. Mob mentality also seems to be part of what happens on social media. Causing a ruckus and getting someone banned from some platform is no different than a group of people with torches and pitchforks forcing someone out of a neighborhood.

Identity politics is the second suspect. Identity politics seems to have caused a great number of people to forget something important: you’re a citizen of the country you’re in first and foremost. Man? Woman? Teenager? Student? Gay? Poor? Rich? Christian? Liberal? Conservative? Libertarian? Irrelevant. Meaningless. To anyone but you the individual, that is. You’re not a citizen of any of that, you’re a citizen of the country and of the state you reside in. Your ideological group does not look after your social security. It does not attend to your civil rights. It does not pass laws. It does not declare disaster relief. It does not deposit your disability payments. It does not provide you with Medicaid. The country does as a cooperative collective of states that has agreed to work together to do so. Identity politics puts emphasis on individuals and appears to create a mental state in which people stare intently at a single tree without seeing the forest around them, and, in some cases, deny the forest even exists. It’s a compartmentalized state of being in which the box the person is locked inside is their ideological group that they perceive to be an entire world.

The third suspect is drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. Everyone knows about the opiate epidemic unless they live under a rock in the middle of the desert 500 miles from anyone else. Fewer people realize that nearly every mass shooter in the last two decades has been on some sort of anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, or anti-psychotic medication. Sometimes multiple ones. Nearly all of these types of drugs have suicidal thoughts and personality changes as side effects mixed with other things like anxiety, agitation, depression, and insomnia, causing a corresponding increase in mental illness as their use increases. Some have side effects associated with compulsive gambling, sleep suicide, and sleep driving. Some even have ‘sudden death’ as side effects. (But don’t expect your doctor to tell you about them since the over prescription of opiates that caused the opiate epidemic is evidence they’re in pharm company pockets and are willing to push a poisoned product.) And these things are being handed out like candy. Commonly used medications, including widely used anti-psychotic medication Seroquel, have been discovered to cause dementia like symptoms when used in conjunction with each other. Meanwhile, the average number of prescriptions used by people in the US was an average of 12.3 per person in 2013, with the lowest age group of 0-18 having an average of 4.2, and has only risen since, which doesn’t include OTC drugs like Zantac, which is currently being recalled due to cancer risk. The number of prescriptions per individual is far higher since these are averages and a lot of people like me and most people I know take a grand total of zero. That’s a lot of drug interactions that can cause all matter of physical and mental issues in the people taking them, and since those people are on the inside looking out, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be the ones to notice themselves acting odd since it merges with their reality. As someone that’s essentially ‘gone nuts’ twice in my life, once from an out of control thyroid and the second due to inhaling unknown chemicals in a workplace for months, I’ve personally seen that no matter how much you’re aware of yourself, you can’t properly examine what happened in your head until emerging from the darkness that type of thing creates. It’s like being in a tunnel but not knowing you’re in a tunnel until you stumble out one end and can look back on things.

The fourth suspect is that we’re growing into a nation of bullies. That wouldn’t be too surprising, considering our international diplomacy has been on the level of a school ground bully for decades now by threatening war and sanctions on those that disagree. But which is a consequence of the other is open to debate. It’s a chicken and egg argument. What is less of a debate is that no bully only tells someone to hand over their money or to step off a cliff. They don’t simply say do ‘X’. That just doesn’t work on a psychological level, and depending on the person, it doesn’t even work then and can have the opposite effect. Some people like to oppose bullies just because they’re bullies, no matter who they’re defending. What bullies say is do ‘X’ or I’ll do ‘Y’. This isn’t limited to physical violence. The mental version of it is do ‘X’ or you’re ‘Y’. But the psychology behind both is the same since they can be reduced to ‘to treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner’ which is the definition of ‘bullying’. This suspect in particular could be related to drug use and environmental contamination since bullying is something that originates in the mind, making it susceptible to external chemical manipulation.

The fifth suspect is environmental contamination. Pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs, industrial chemicals, and plastics have entered the ecosystem at every level. Research showed long ago that hormonal changes caused by chemicals can cause tadpoles to turn into hermaphrodites. To think that these things don’t enter human bodies and have some effect would be nearsighted, however, this issue hasn’t been taken seriously except when certain pockets of chemicals cause serious health issues in an area and the government is forced to examine the problem. These chemicals have been linked to lower testosterone levels in men in some studies, making what they do to everyone else open to a debate that few want to have since the majority may figure out something they don’t want to know, so little of the research has been followed up on.

The sixth suspect is the growing economic gap. People have the common view that the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 that killed ~1 million people was purely ethnic violence because that is the story presented. The Tutsi, ethnic minority, ruled the country and were overthrown in 1959 by the ethnic majority Hutus. Many Tutsi escaped to Uganda and formed a rebel army that then invaded Rwanda and fought a civil war from 1990-93 before a peace deal was brokered. On April 6th, 1994, the Presidential plane was downed, killing the Hutu President, Juvenal Habyarimana, initiating the methodical slaughter of Tutsi with machetes in which husbands killed wives, neighbor killed neighbor, and students killed their teachers. Calling it ethnic violence is the obvious option and the one most observers took. However, Jared Diamond presents a different outlook in his book ‘Collapse’. His research reveals a country that was massively overpopulated for available farmland and had a huge economic gap. Adult children were unable to make their way into the world and stayed in the household, which caused friction by breaking down the traditional ways the people had followed due to lack of income and available land. The poor farmers got poorer and possessed less land as the richer farmers were able to better their positions by buying land from the others and securing additional jobs for more income. The situation right before violence erupted in 1994 was one in which a great number of people were starving and desperate for something to give. As a surviving Tutsi school teacher said when interviewed, ‘The people whose children had to walk barefoot to school killed the people who could buy shoes for theirs’. Currently, the situation isn’t so that the majority of the US is starving, but the relative economic gap is widening. The fact that many of those complaining they don’t have enough money because they spend the money they have on expensive cell phones they ‘need’ along with other trinkets pushed by corporations and are weighed down by $1.6 trillion in student loans for useless degrees they never should have been loaned money for is irrelevant. What’s relevant is that the economic gap between the haves and have nots is growing and that produces resentment in people that feel they got the short end of the stick.. Resentment breeds discontent and violence over the long run within any group of people it takes hold of, and dialog about ‘universal income’ boils down to resentment and wanting more, which is a symptom of the economic gap.

Anyone that tries to claim that any single cause is leading to what we see in the US as a whole hasn’t thought the problem through. Anyone that claims the solution is simple hasn’t thought the problem through. Even if looked at in a conservative manner, we’re a minimum of two decades into the darkness, and probably closer to three or four. Due to the scope of the issues and the number of people in the country, it would take just as long to fix these issues in a civil manner. Politicians have to be removed from office that are paid off by large corporations. Lobbyists need banned. Stringent laws need put in place that say when and how doctors can prescribe certain scripts since powerful, mind altering drugs are being handed out for simple things such as weight control and sleep aids that they were never meant to be used for. The ‘education’ system and its corresponding student loan system needs a total revamp so they can’t prey on naive people and lock them into lifelong servitude for degrees that are the economic equivalent of underwater basket weaving. The environment needs cleaned up. The toxicity that is hate speech being masqueraded as ‘free speech’ needs addressed on social media. It’s not normal for people to be confused about their gender. It’s not normal for people to wish death on others simply because of an opinion that differs from their own, no matter how heated. It’s not normal for personal attacks to dominate the political landscape. It’s not normal to throw human life away for a buck. It’s not normal to tie people down in lifelong debt. Even though these things show up in societies all the time, they are always aberrant, caused by external stimuli, and get pushed aside once people come to their senses. Sometimes it happens because of a single work by a single person, such as when ‘The Gulag Archipelago’ by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ultimately led to the fall of far Left Socialism in Russia. The political spectrum is a circle, with both ends terminating at a form of totalitarianism, which is why all far Left and far Right ideologies have failed until people had to relearn forgotten, harsh lessons by reinvigorating them or by reawakening them.

Further reading:

These are Americans’ favorite insults, by political affiliation: https://qz.com/291533/this-is-how-liberals-and-conservatives-insult-each-other/

Party Affiliation: https://news.gallup.com/poll/15370/party-affiliation.aspx

Clinton’s ‘deplorables’ remark sums up a deplorable election season: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clintons-deplorables-remark-sums-up-a-deplorable-election-season/2016/09/10/78977694-777b-11e6-be4f-3f42f2e5a49e_story.html

Conservatives, Moderates, Liberals, and Progressives:

Conservatives, Moderates, Liberals, and Progressives

6 Ways Social Media Affects Our Mental Health: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/06/30/a-run-down-of-social-medias-effects-on-our-mental-health/#41bc812c2e5a

The Positive and Negative Effects of Identity Politics and the Privilege Lens on Academic Discourse: The Positive and Negative Effects of Identity Politics and the “Privilege” Lens on Academic Discourse

National Survey on Drug Use and Health: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/data-we-collect/nsduh-national-survey-drug-use-and-health

2018 Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics You Need To Know:

2018 Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics You Need To Know

Zantac Is Voluntarily Recalled After Cancer-Causing Chemical Detected: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/fda-warns-zantac-may-have-carcinogen

Common Medications Can Masquerade as Dementia in Seniors:

Common Medications Can Masquerade as Dementia in Seniors

Prescription per capita in the United States by age group 2013: https://www.statista.com/statistics/315476/prescriptions-in-us-per-capita-by-age-group/

The Psychology of Bullying:

The Psychology of Bullying

US: History of U.S. sanctions shows most haven’t worked: https://corpwatch.org/article/us-history-us-sanctions-shows-most-havent-worked

US’s history of sanctions worldwide and how Zimbabwe is affected:

US’s history of sanctions worldwide and how Zimbabwe is affected

Pesticide ’causes frogs to change sex’: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1930658.stm

Environmental exposure to metals and male reproductive hormones: Circulating testosterone is inversely associated with blood molybdenum: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2823119/

PFOA and PFOS Cause Lower Sperm Counts and Smaller Penises, Study Finds: https://theintercept.com/2018/11/30/pfoa-and-pfos-cause-lower-sperm-counts-and-smaller-penises-study-finds/

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/475.Collapse

The Widening Gap Between the Super-Rich and Other Americans:

The Widening Gap Between the Super-Rich and Other Americans

Rwanda genocide: 100 days of slaughter: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-26875506

Paying Back Student Loans? It’s Hardest for People in These 8 Industries: https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/paying-back-student-loans-its-hardest-for-people-in-these-industries.html/

The Gulag Archipelago and The Wisdom of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

The Gulag Archipelago and The Wisdom of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The Rise of the Far Right

The Rise of the Far Right

Social Media: Time Waster and Mental Health Destroyer

I never had a Myspace account because I recognized that long ago that there were inherent issues with anything like this. That’s because it’s social engineering masquerading as ‘social media’. Perhaps it even started off as something innocent, but it’s became a time and sanity vampire. Yeah, it’s great because you meet people you’d never have met before, but it’s also terrible because at least half those people are so toxic they leave holes in the floor behind them as they walk. It’s also a massive time waste and distraction.

A smart, curious person on a site like this is like walking a dog into a vet without a leash: they’re going to sniff someone’s ass and possibly start a fight and there’s nothing you or the dog can do about it because it’s the nature of the beast. Do you smack the dog for doing it? yourself for not stopping it? or do you recognize that the less the dog is there the less of a problem it is? I like to get to the bare basics and fix things from the ground up. The bare basics are that Facebook serves no useful purpose to me except as a messaging service and distracts the hell out of me. And there’s no reason for the distraction because there’s a dozen other ways to contact me. It’s also nearly useless for advertisement.

Yeah, you can get likes. All kinds of likes. But do you think they translate into profit? No. Why, I don’t know, but I have some suspicions: 1. A great number of FB accounts are fake. 2. FB is clearly bias against conservatives and anyone else not on the sinking Liberal boat, and I expect that would extend to ads also. 3. Conservatives and non-Liberals have been jumping ship from FB and a cross section of a FB crowd no longer represents the same cross section you’d get by pulling a group of the same number off the street and therefore doesn’t have the same buying power. 4. Too many have been affected by the political wrangling inflicted by pathetic politicians that don’t know enough psychology to know how bad they’re fucking people up, which knocks people off their game, changing their behaviors.

As of now, FB is essentially on probation. 90% of the feeds that made it through the last purge have been cut, and the last purge cut 90% of the feeds at that time. That is why the majority of my political posts stopped months ago: there’s nothing to comment on if you don’t see it and that rule can be applied to anything and anyone. So basically, FB is now knocked down to only those people I like, which means only to people, and we’ll see if that changes things enough so that I don’t ditch it completely at the turn of the new year.

I won’t get into other issues I believe social media causes, such as neurosis, anxiety, depression, political dissidence, normalization of evil such as pedophilia, normalization of fantastical delusions of being things people aren’t and can never be, and the normalization and promotion of victim mentality just to name a few of the worst, except to say I’ve barely touched the tip of the iceberg.

Equality: Liberalism’s El Dorado

New essay on Authorsden.

‘People are better off when they play to their strengths and develop the skills they have the most innate ability and desire to do, not the things they’re worst at and have to force themselves to do. You are not special, I am not special. You are not equal, I am not equal. You can do stuff I can’t, I can do stuff you can’t, and Jimbo down the road can kick both our butts at something. That’s a basic fact of life that everyone on the losing end of a competition finds out real fast. (I won’t digress into how the retardation of sports by giving participation awards has possibly led to people thinking equality exists, because after all, they all got trophies so must be equal, right?) ‘

On Authorsden:
http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewarticle.asp?id=79390