In The Land Of The Free

Our politicians are always, no matter the party, telling us to take back our democracy from one party or the other…..but let’s be honest there are not telling you the truth……most of what they taunt is myths and lies…..

Myth No. 8—We have a democracy.

If you think we still have a democracy or a democratic republic, ask yourself this: When was the last time Congress did something that the people of America supported that did not align with corporate interests? … You probably can’t do it. It’s like trying to think of something that rhymes with “orange.” You feel like an answer exists but then slowly realize it doesn’t. Even the Carter Center and former President Jimmy Carter believe that America has been transformed into an oligarchy: A small, corrupt elite control the country with almost no input from the people. The rulers need the myth that we’re a democracy to give us the illusion of control.

Myth No. 7—We have an accountable and legitimate voting system.

Gerrymandering, voter purging, data mining, broken exit polling, push polling, superdelegates, electoral votes, black-box machines, voter ID suppression, provisional ballots, super PACs, dark money, third parties banished from the debates and two corporate parties that stand for the same goddamn pile of fetid crap!

Myth No. 6—We have an independent media that keeps the rulers accountable.

Our media outlets are funded by weapons contractors, big pharma, big banks, big oil and big, fat hard-on pills. (Sorry to go hard on hard-on pills, but we can’t get anything resembling hard news because it’s funded by dicks.) The corporate media’s jobs are to rally for war, cheer for Wall Street and froth at the mouth for consumerism. It’s their mission to actually fortify belief in the myths I’m telling you about right now. Anybody who steps outside that paradigm is treated like they’re standing on a playground wearing nothing but a trench coat.

Myth No. 5—We have an independent judiciary.

The criminal justice system has become a weapon wielded by the corporate state. This is how bankers can foreclose on millions of homes illegally and see no jail time, but activists often serve jail time for nonviolent civil disobedience. Chris Hedges recently noted, “The most basic constitutional rights … have been erased for many. … Our judicial system, as Ralph Nader has pointed out, has legalized secret law, secret courts, secret evidence, secret budgets and secret prisons in the name of national security.”

Myth No. 4—The police are here to protect you. They’re your friends.

That’s funny. I don’t recall my friend pressuring me into sex to get out of a speeding ticket. (Which is essentially still legal in 32 states.)

The police in our country are primarily designed to do two things: protect the property of the rich and perpetrate the completely immoral war on drugs—which by definition is a war on our own people.

We lock up more people than any other country on earth. Meaning the land of the free is the largest prison state in the world. So all these droopy-faced politicians and rabid-talking heads telling you how awful China is on human rights or Iran or North Korea—none of them match the numbers of people locked up right here under Lady Liberty’s skirt.

Myth No. 3—Buying will make you happy.

This myth is put forward mainly by the floods of advertising we take in but also by our social engineering. Most of us feel a tenacious emptiness, an alienation deep down behind our surface emotions (for a while I thought it was gas). That uneasiness is because most of us are flushing away our lives at jobs we hate before going home to seclusion boxes called houses or apartments. We then flip on the TV to watch reality shows about people who have it worse than we do (which we all find hilarious).

Myth No. 2—If you work hard, things will get better.

According to Deloitte’s Shift Index survey: “80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs” and “[t]he average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime.” That’s about one-seventh of your life—and most of it is during your most productive years.

Myth No. 1—You are free.

And I’m not talking about the millions locked up in our prisons. I’m talking about you and me. If you think you’re free, try running around with your nipples out, ladies. Guys, take a dump on the street and see how free you are.

I understand there are certain restrictions on freedom we actually desire to have in our society—maybe you’re not crazy about everyone leaving a Stanley Steamer in the middle of your walk to work. But a lot of our lack of freedom is not something you would vote for if given the chance.

 
Read!  These observations are accurate and if you ask yourself questions after reading then you will agree.
 
But if you blindly follow then you deserve to lose the rights that you have one at a time until there is NOTHING left.
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Death By Gun

Closing Thought–24Jan19

NO! This is not intended an anti-gun post…this is continuing with my series on suicide….I am sure that some will want to tie this into my statements from the past…but it is intended as info not oppo……

I have been watching the different suicide rates in the US from farmers to vets to military and now the youth of the nation…..

But first just a reminder of the series…….

https://lobotero.com/2014/09/03/older-vets-committing-suicide-at-alarming-rate-military-com/

https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/military-suicides-arent-linked-to-deployment-study-finds/

https://lobotero.com/2015/04/02/veterans-suicide/

https://lobotero.com/2018/07/27/closing-thought-27jul18/

That was a quick tour of my thoughts on these suicides…..

This report on the startling amount of suicides among the nation’s young….suicide with guns involved…..

Suicide rates among U.S. children and teens have hit startling rates and a study now finds one clear predictor of youth suicide: gun ownership.

Youth suicides rates are higher in states with high gun ownership rates, a team at Boston University School of Public Health found.

“Household gun ownership was the single biggest predictor of youth suicide rate in a state,” Dr. Michael Siegel, a public health specialist at BU, told NBC News.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/state-state-study-links-gun-ownership-youth-suicide-n959946

Again mental health has been ignored for too long….time for some sort of major change in the thinking of those that make the rules.

That Fragile Masculinity

Ever noticed the white guys that shave their heads?  Some do it because they are going bald…..think about that for a minute….then others rush to find the “magic” cure for baldness…..those “magic” treatments….like Propecia….

And that is where Trump comes in……

In a snicker-worthy disclosure by President Donald Trump’s longtime personal physician, readers of The New York Times learned Thursday that the leader of the free world takes a small daily dose of the drug finasteride ― otherwise known as Propecia ― which is used to treat male-pattern baldness.

The revelation by Dr. Harold N. Bornstein that the president uses a prostate-related drug to grow scalp hair was not previously known publicly, according to the Times story, and appears to explain why Trump has a very low level of prostate specific antigen, or PSA, a marker sometimes used to diagnose prostate cancer. The newspaper said it had four telephone conversations with Bornstein, whose office is in Manhattan, about Trump’s overall health.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-propecia-haiir-loss_n_58936376e4b06f344e4058a6

Vanity!

Onward to the meat of this post…..that male ego.

Back during WW2 a psychologist was asked to dissect Hitler’s personality……it was for an intel gathering report.

Fast forward to 2016 and the candidacy of D. Trump and a bunch of shrinks got together and dissected Trump’s personality…..of course his supporters went bat crap crazy…..saying you cannot make a long distance diagnosis (I agree with that assertion) but it has been done before and was used…..so why can’t these shrinks do it today?

In case you were interested in what the “shrinks” had to say……https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-time-cure/201709/the-dangerous-case-donald-trump

I have tried to understand why so many men support this person as president…..

Two psychologists at New York University have conducted a study showing how President Donald Trump appeals directly to men who suffer from what they call “fragile masculinity.”

Writing in the Washington Post, New York University psychology professor Eric Knowles and NYU psychology doctoral student Sarah DiMuccio claim that many male Trump supporters feel far more insecure in their own masculinity than they’d have you believe — and they are drawn to Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric because it makes them feel more powerful.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/11/trump-appeals-men-suffer-fragile-masculinity-psychologists/

That explains so much……

Then there is that male masculinity……

There’s an ideology out there affecting boys and men, and the American Psychological Association says it’s “harmful.” The Los Angeles Timesreports on the APA’s first official warning on the toxicity of “traditional masculinity,” which “has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health.” Featured this month in the APA’s Monitor on Psychology magazine, the “APA Guidelines for the Psychological Practice with Boys and Men”—a 13-year effort that involved scientists poring over more than four decades of research—notes the harmful effects tied to traditionally masculine traits, including being competitive, aggressive, and stoic. The APA offers some stats to back up its claim: Men in the US, for instance, commit 90% more homicides than women.

Also holding sway “over large segments of the population” are such traits as “anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence.” The report notes that by males conforming to these traits, they may bury their feelings and pretend things are OK when they’re not, which could, down the line, lead to sexual harassment, homophobia, and violence. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that, per the study, men show disproportionate rates of substance abuse, cardiovascular issues, early mortality, and quality-of-life problems, among others, yet tend to not seek needed help—and even when they do, many say their male-related issues aren’t addressed. Not that the APA thinks every single aspect of traditional masculinity is harmful: Leadership and courage, for example, are positive traits boys and men should strive toward, the group says.

This is interesting because the new crop of female Congresspeople are making a name for themselves and in doing do so seem to be threatening the fragile men’s masculinity……these men have been in “control” for so long that the threat of women stepping in to the power centers has them running scared….even attacking women in their party.

Why do they feel their masculinity is being attacked?  Just because strong independent women are being elected or maybe they feel the “good old boy” system is coming to an end.

Closing Thought–12Dec18

It appears that things are not getting better for the citizens of the US when it comes to life expectancy…..

In 1918, the double whammy of World War I and the worldwide flu pandemic drove down American life expectancy for a third year in a row. A century later, another triple-year decline has been recorded—and this time, suicide and drug overdoses are major causes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual report, US life expectancy dropped to 78 years and 7 months in 2017, down around a month from the year before, the AP reports. Men could expect to live 76.1 years, and women 81.1. Public health experts called the statistics alarming, noting that early deaths among middle-aged people did the most to bring life expectancy down. After 22 years of steady rises, life expectancy dropped in 2015 and again in 2016, though it will need to drop a lot more to reach the level of 1918, when life expectancy was 39.

“These sobering statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a statement. Another CDC report found that the number of drug overdose deaths rose almost 6,600 in 2017 to 70,237, CNN reports. The suicide rate rose to its highest in at least 50 years, with rates much higher in rural counties than in urban ones. Another factor was a harsh flu season. Experts say they find it worrying that in the US, life expectancy is going in a different direction than in most developed nations. “Life expectancy is improving in many places in the world. It shouldn’t be declining in the United States,” Joshua Sharfstein at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health tells the Washington Post. (A recent study predicted that by 2040, there will be 63 countries with higher life expectancy than the US.)

Technology and medical leaps have done little to make the life span of an American get any longer……we can only hope that these stats get better…..but I do not feel they will….not in today’s world.

Where Oh Where Did The Economy Go?

If you are a junkie for this president then you will know about the extremely good economy that he is presiding over, right?

Then explain the yo-yo effect in the last week.  Something has investors nervous.  Wassup wit dat?

We hear that hundreds of thousands of jobs are being created…..or the factories that are re-opening….on and on…..but just how good is this economy for those that do not have legacy money or lots of zeros in a bank account?

The U.S. mobility rate dropped again to a new low in 2017, with just 10.1% of Americans moving homes, according to new data from the Census Bureau.

Why it matters: Economic opportunity isn’t enough to get people moving anymore. And less mobility could mean the wealthy areas of the U.S. continue to accumulate wealth, while the poorer areas will remain poor because people are less likely to move for better jobs and companies are less likely to move for cheaper labor.

https://www.axios.com/americans-not-moving-economy-booming-mobility-acea1512-0f7d-45e2-a8b1-dd8ea02ea1bb.html

With all the great news about the economy then why is there still abject poverty?  Why is that?

What does it mean to be poor? Currently there are two basic ways to define poverty. To get a better measure of who needs help — and a better sense of how to provide it — society needs a third definition.

The first definition is absolute poverty — essentially, material destitution. Human beings need food, water and shelter, and if we can’t afford these things, life is pretty miserable. In the U.S., the federal government has poverty guidelines that are based on food consumption: If you make less than about three times the minimum amount people need to spend on food each year, you’re poor.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-11-26/poverty-in-america-greater-than-statistics-indicate

THe American Dream is dead….dead….dead…..and who can we say killed it?

Donald Trump, during a recent stop on his “Anarchy in the UK” tour, argued that the mass influx of immigrants into Europe is causing Great Britain and other nations to “lose their culture.” The fear of cultural dilution and transformation as a consequence of shifting demographics is widespread, and it resonates in the United States, too, especially among those who support the current president.

Stephen Bannon, Tucker Carlson, and other popular right-wing figures have warned of threats to national identity in an American context, contending that Mexicans will not assimilate and that Islam is incompatible with liberal democracy and secular governance. Liberals and libertarians often respond by recalling the long tradition of assimilation in American history, along with the outrage that often accompanies new arrivals. Nearly every ethnic group, from the Italians to the Chinese, has been the target of political and social hostility. It is an old story, but one worth telling, and it is an old debate, but one worth having. Border sovereignty, even to someone like me who probably favors more liberal immigration laws than most TAC readers, is a legitimate issue and not to be easily dismissed.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/corporate-capitalists-killed-american-identity/

But if things are as bad as all this then why is Trump trumpeting(no pun intended) his support for the Middle Class and all Americans?

President Trump’s iron clad campaign promise that auto layoffs would cease has evaporated into hot air. At his rustbelt rallies Trump insisted that if he won the election the auto industry would so fear him that they would not only end layoffs of American workers, but bring back the factories they had built overseas.

Late last month, General Motors announced it would slash its salaried workers by 15 percent and terminate one in four of its executives. The “reset” will be felt well beyond the company’s Oshawa plant in Ontario, Lordstown, Ohio, Detroit and Warren, Michigan and White Marsh, Maryland GM targeted for layoffs.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/12/trumps-concern-working-class-just-convenient-campaign-slogan/

If you have money then you are smiling….if you have no savings then you are worried about the coming year……pretty much America as usual.

By The Way….remember those tax cuts that were gonna makes us all wealthier?

Most Americans expect to pay less in federal taxes this year, after President Trump and Republicans in Congress passed a last-minute tax bill last December.

But thanks to a rule change that the Internal Revenue Service made Thursday, a lot of Americans will reportedly be paying a bit more in taxes in 2019 than they thought they would–and even more in later years. Eventually, maybe a lot more.

It all comes down to a simple math equation, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal–or more accurately a series of simple math equations. Because the tax law uses particular dollar amounts to establish thresholds for different things–tax brackets, the amounts of deductions, etc.–the IRS has to adjust many of these numbers for inflation each year.

Step Right Up

***First I need to state that I am NOT endorsing nor am I compensated for any product mentioned in this post***

Sundays in the Fall….a lovely time of the year……and as usual I want to help my readers understand stuff and hopefully I can entertain them as well…..

I got one of those irritating ads on my Twitter account…..the ad made me think of something from the past…..the “Snake Oil Salesman”…..

You may be too young to know much about the time or the people that were called this “insult”…..but again as usual…I can help……

“Snake Oil Salesman.” The phrase conjures up images of seedy profiteers trying to exploit an unsuspecting public by selling it fake cures. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary defines snake oil as “a quack remedy or panacea.” What the OED does not note, however, is that the history of snake oil is linked to an often forgotten chapter of Asian-American history.

But what, exactly, is snake oil? And why is peddling it such a terrible thing?

The 1800s saw thousands of Chinese workers arriving in the United States as indentured laborers to work on the Transcontinental Railroad. According to historian Richard White’s book Railroaded, about 180,000 Chinese immigrated to the United States between 1849 and 1882. The vast majority of the workers came from peasant families in southeastern China and were signed to contracts that ran up to five years for relatively low wages (compared with their white counterparts), wrote David Haward Bain in his book Empire Express.

https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/08/26/215761377/a-history-of-snake-oil-salesmen

I got an irritating ad (as I have said) on my Twitter account about the benefits of Hemp Oil……

Hemp Oil?  Really?

The protein and fiber in hemp combine to slow digestion, which prevents spikes in blood sugar and therefore sustains your body’s energy. A diet rich in hemp promotes digestive regularity.

When sprinkled on your cereal or fruit at breakfast, hemp protein and fiber also help aid in satiety, which will prevent you from snacking and keep you fuller longer.

The Omega-3 fatty acids in hemp reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, and may even ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Hemp seeds are one of the few Omega-3 sources found in plants.

The Omega-6 fatty acids in hemp stimulate skin and hair growth, maintain bone health, regulate metabolism, and help the brain function.

Hemp seeds contain essential amino acids, which improves muscle control, mental function, and normal body maintenance of cells, muscle, tissues, and organs.

(cannabliss-labs.com)

After visiting the site and reading their “pitch” I first thought of a Snake Oil Salesman and the I recalled a song by Tom Waits…..

Time out…..chuq

Chipping The Workers!

I am a dog person and I love my friends so I have them micro-chipped so they can be quickly identified and they can be returned home in the shortest space of time safely.

Look at that face!

It is wonderful technology……but only it used properly.

But would you consider being micro-chipped by your employer?

The prospect of UK firms implanting their staff with microchips in order to improve security and efficiency has raised concerns among trade unions.

Several legal and financial firms in the UK are reportedly in discussions with a company responsible for fitting thousands of people with chips in Scandinavia.

The chips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, are usually implanted beneath the skin between the thumb and forefinger and use radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to allow people to replace physical key cards, IDs and even train tickets.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/microchip-uk-workers-employees-privacy-bioteq-biohax-cbi-tuc-trade-union-a8629656.html

Personally, I do not want my employer chipping me….that would give they way too much control over my life….a control that they want to possess.

Anyone else have a thought on this?

Then I shall say TTFN…be well. be safe……chuq