Category Archives: Society

The Virtuous Poor in America, by xrugger

The money sentence: “The majority of the American underclass are neither virtuous nor (by any rational standard of true poverty) are they poor.” From xrugger at theburningplatform.com:

I’ve read a few things recently that might lead one to believe that the poor in America are held down solely by the machinations of the rich and connected. There seems to be a sentiment out there that the poor are simply not responsible for the state in which they find themselves and that one day they will rise up and throw off the shackles that bind them in poverty and want. Everything has been done to them; therefore, we are obligated to do everything for them. As will be obvious shortly, I disagree.

Do not put your hope for change in the poor and downtrodden of this country. Your faith in the supposed virtuous poor is badly misplaced. The majority of the American underclass are neither virtuous nor (by any rational standard of true poverty) are they poor. This is not a statement meant to absolve the wealthy and powerful of their sins in that they have done much to degrade and destroy the “disadvantaged” of this nation. They will have their own millstone to deal with. Having said that, let’s chat a little bit about the true state of the American underclass.

First, let’s dispel the notion that the American poor are truly poor. Oh sure, by the standards of the poor in other western industrial nations, the American version may indeed be worse in some ways than, say, the German poor, or the British poor, or the Australian poor. However, when you bring the grinding poverty of Africa, India, or rural China into the calculation, then what it means to be poor in America becomes discernable in its proper context.

If you have central heat and air conditioning in your subsidized housing, or even in the homeless shelter for that matter, then you are far better off than sub-Saharan Africans who burn buffalo dung for heat. If you cook your subsidized meals on an electric or gas stove under an electric light, then you and yours exist at a level of comfort unknown to huge numbers of the truly destitute. If you have the luxury of indoor plumbing, then you have far exceeded the standards of the rural poor in India where the majority of the population still defecate in the open.

To continue reading: The Virtuous Poor in America

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Will Manliness Make A Comeback In 2018? by Brandon Smith

Adversity builds character, and so manliness (male character) probably doesn’t make a comeback until widespread adversity rolls in. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

Men embracing their masculinity and biological heritage has not been the easiest path the past few years, at least, for those who care about being labeled a “toxic” curse hanging over the history of the world. For me, frankly, I am indifferent to the gnashing and wailing of feminists and the social justice cult. They are a paper tiger and always have been. Beyond that, it’s almost impossible to live in rural Montana without being a capable man (or living in a family with capable men), so even if I wanted to become some kind of liberal my-little-pony metrosexual, the environment simply would not allow for it. I would get eaten alive, or I would have to leave.

It is this lesson above all else that I would like to impart here — masculinity can only be abandoned when the environment is sterilized and controlled and entirely “safe.” Put any feminist out in an uncontrolled and dangerous environment (like the wilderness) for a few weeks, and it won’t be long before they will beg for someone with all those “toxic” masculine traits to come and help them.

In fact, though scientists rarely undertake any social experiments to explore this reality (due to science in our era being heavily tainted by identity politics and liberal bias), there are many examples of the vast differences between genders on display in survival shows such as the Bear Grylls show ‘The Island’.  The British reality series originally featured a group of thirteen men left on an island with nothing but a few tools and the clothes on their backs. Their goal?  Work together to survive for one full month.

After accusations of “sexism”, the show started its next season with a group of men and a group of women given the same task.  The show had various versions and copycats in other nations, some featuring competitions between the men and the women, but the end result was invariably the same regardless of the country.

To continue reading: Will Manliness Make A Comeback In 2018?

Forecast 2018 — What Could Go Wrong? by James Howard Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler presents a plethora of potentially problematic possibilities. From Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Markets

If you take your cues from Consensus Trance Central — the cable news networks, The New York Times, WashPost, and HuffPo — Trump is all that ails this foundering empire. Well, Trump and Russia, since the Golden Golem of Greatness is in league with Vladimir Putin to loot the world, or something like that.

Since I believe that the financial system is at the heart of today’s meta-question (What Could Go Wrong?), it would be perhaps more to the point to ask: what has held this matrix of rackets together so long? After all, rackets are characterized by pervasive lying and fraud, meaning their operations don’t add up. Things that don’t comport with reality are generally prone to failure so sooner or later they have to implode.

Financial markets have been surging supernaturally on “liquidity” since 2009 — and by “liquidity” I mean “money” (digital credit from thin air) supplied by the Federal Reserve, in rotation with the other sovereign central banks, BOE, ECB, BOJ, PBOC, from whence it pings ‘round the world, wherever the lure of the main chance sparkles. Trillions wafted into the stock and bond markets, levitating them as a sort of stage-managed misdirection from the sickening spectacle of wobbling real stuff economies. In 2017, The Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded an astounding 5,000 point year-on-year upzoom, with 12 months of gains and no loser months, and a string of 71 record highs.

America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, acted as if pumping up the stock markets was the only thing that mattered. The result was a Potemkin economy, a glittering Wall Street false-front with a landscape of “flyover” squalor and desolation behind. The Fed now works at cross-purposes with itself by raising the Fed Funds rate a quarter-point every few months, and supposedly “shrinking” (ha!) their balance sheet — dumping bonds onto the market plus “retiring” termed out bonds, which allows the Fed to disappear the principal paid by the borrowers, namely the US Treasury, or the quasi-governmental werewolf called Freddie Mac (The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation), which bundles all kinds of janky mortgages into giant bonds the Fed buys in order to artificially pump up the real estate market. Did your eyes glaze over yet? That’s the great thing about finance: it’s bewildering, so that when shit goes wrong, nobody notices until its way too late.

To continue reading: Forecast 2018 — What Could Go Wrong?

 

Christmas Story, by James Howard Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler ponders It’s a Wonderful Life. From Kunstler at kunstler.com:

These are the long, dark hours when cis-hetero white patriarchs sit by the hearth chewing over their regrets for the fading year and expectations for the year waiting to be born. I confess, I like Christmas a lot, Hebrew that I am, perhaps the musical and sensual trappings more than the virgin birth business. Something in my mixed Teutonic blood stirs to the paganism of blazing Yule logs, fragrant fir trees, rousing carols, and snow on snow on snow. I hope we can keep these hearty ceremonies… that they are not banished to the same puritanical limbo where the Prairie Home Companion archives were sent to rot.

One surviving old chestnut of the season is the 1946 movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, a movie so thick with gooey holiday sentiment, it’s like bathing in egg nog. It’s larded with messages of good-will-to-all-mankind, of course, but some of the less obvious themes — almost certainly unintended — tell the more interesting story about where America has come from in recent history and where it went. One thing for sure: every year that goes by, the America of It’s a Wonderful Life seems utterly unlike the sordid circus we live in now.

The movie takes place in a town, called Bedford Falls, like many in my corner of the country, upstate New York, or at least the way they used to be: alive, bustling with activity, with several layers of working, middle, and commercial classes employed at real productive work making things, and a thin candy shell of “the rich,” portrayed as unambiguously greedy and wicked — but overwhelmed in numbers by all the other good-hearted townspeople.

The movie depicts an American social structure that no longer exists. It’s both democratic and firmly hierarchical — owing probably to the lingering influence of army life in the recently concluded Second World War. Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, the head of an old-style family-owned Savings and Loan bank, a very modest institution dedicate to lending money for new homes. His competitor in town is the wicked old rich banker Henry Potter (Lionel Barrymore), a swindler and thief, who wants to put George out of business.

To continue reading: Christmas Story

 

Jedi Mind Trick: The Disturbing, Destabilizing Abnormal Is Now Normal, by Charles Hugh Smith

Many weird things are going on and nobody’s batting an eye. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Disturbing, destabilizing abnormalities are now accepted as normal life in America.
Forgive me for wondering if the populace of America hasn’t fallen for a Jedi mind trick:
Disturbing, destabilizing abnormalities are now accepted as normal life in America:
1. Sprawling tent camps of homeless sprout like flowers of poverty in U.S. cities, leaving mountains of trash that speak volumes about systemic failure, destitution and overwhelmed city services.
2. The Federal Reserve’s vaunted “Wealth Effect” that was supposed to be a tide that raised all boats at least a bit has concentrated wealth and power in the top 5%, 1%, and 1/10th of 1%, leaving the bottom 95% with diminished prospects and a thinning stake in The American Project.
3. The stock market’s year-long levitation while the real-world economy decays is a perverse counter-correlation that reflects the widening divide between those enriched by the asset bubbles and those left further behind.
4. In the midst of a supposedly resurgent U.S. “recovery” in its 9th year of wonderfulness, the opioid epidemic has killed tens of thousands and crippled hundreds of thousands of lives and families, yet the federal government, supposedly the most powerful force on the planet, is frozen in a decades-long law-enforcement/Drug Gulag obsession, blind to the Big Pharma Cartel that has created and fueled the epidemic as a means of reaping billions in profits.
5. The nation’s Corporate/Billionaire-owned Media obsess endlessly over the chimera of Russian collusion, as if that was the Big Story That Matters, while the nation’s rigged economy is coming apart at the seams.
6. While the Sports Media Empires fret over the decline of fan engagement in the NFL, nobody dares mention that Pro Sports is now unaffordable to the vast majority of households.

Firing the Pre-Pubertal Arquebus: A Sociological Treatise, by Fred Reed

Fred Reed remembers a time when kids were pretty left alone…and they survived and even grew up. From Reed at theburningplatform.com:

Today we will ponder America, a country, even a civilization, that existed long ago where the United States is today, but bore little resemblance to it. It will be like studying cave drawings, or Sargon of Akkad. Pay attention. The is original source material of historical importance.

I was there, in America: Athens, Alabama, at age twelve.

Athens was small and Southern, drowsy in summer, kind of comfortable feeling, not much concerned with the outside world. It left the world alone and the world left it alone. In those days, people in a lot of places figured this was pretty workable.

Kids went barefoot. So help me. After about two weeks in spring your feet got tough and you could walk on anything, except maybe gravelly black asphalt that got hotter than the hinges. Parents let you do it. Today I guess it would be a hate crime, and you’d get an ambulance, three squad cars and Child Protective Services all honking and blowing and being important. We didn’t know we  needed protecting. Maybe we didn’t.

It wasn’t like today. When your dog wanted to go out, she did, and went where she thought was a good idea, and nobody cared, and she came back when she thought that was a good idea, and everybody was content. She probably slept on your bed, too.  Today it would  be a health crisis with the ambulance and squad cars. We just didn’t know any better. I don’t remember anybody dying of dog poisoning.

Now, BB guns. We all had one, every kid that was eleven years old. Boy kids, anyway. Mostly they were Red Ryder, for four dollars, but I had a Daisy Eagle, that had a plastic telescopic sight, and was no end uptown. I was always aristocratic. Anyway, you could go into any little corner store and get a pack of BBs for a nickel.

To continue reading: Firing the Pre-Pubertal Arquebus: A Sociological Treatise

ALIEN 1: We’re from Outer Space. We’re here to help. by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

And now for something completely different. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

By Doug “Uncola” Lynn via TheBurningPlatform.com

If I were to provide you with a factual summary involving outer space aliens, WikiLeaks, an Apollo 14 astronaut who was the sixth man to walk on the Moon, a guitarist from a Grammy-nominated rock group, a former Democratic campaign chief and presidential chief of staff, several U.S. Presidents, Area 51, the Vatican, and Jimmy Kimmel, would I have your attention? Good.  Now, sit back and fasten your seat belts. This will be quite the ride.

What has become known as the Podesta Files were revealed on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 when Wikileaks released 7,000 e-mails sent and received by John Podesta, then the Campaign Chairman for Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton.  Within the information dump, correspondence was discovered from former Apollo astronaut, Edgar Mitchell, who cited an “impending space war and the Vatican’s knowledge of alien life”.

Also referred to in the e-mails as Mitchell’s “Catholic colleague”, was a lady by the name of Terri Mansfield, a self-proclaimed Director of the ETI (Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Peace Task Force who, according to her website, considers the “contiguous universe ETI” to be “nonviolent, obedient to God, and superior to all celestials in our universe” .  Evidently, the ETI Peace Task Force believes extraterrestrial intelligence has evolved to the point of being one-hundred percent obedient to God, with a desire for justice and a steadfast commitment to non-violence:

AS WE ENTER 2017, YEAR OF JUSTICE, EXCLUDED FROM OUR MISSION AND ENVIRONS ARE EVERYONE AND ANYONE WHO ARE NOT NOW IN OBEDIENCE TO GOD. ONLY THOSE ARE INCLUDED AND INVITED TO PARTICIPATE WITH US WHO ARE IN OBEDIENCE TO GOD, FACILITATED BY 100% OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S 100%, THEREFORE, NONVIOLENT, ETI, EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE. AS A PROCESS OF SELF-ELIMINATION, WE WORK ONLY WITH THOSE ETI IN THE CONTIGUOUS UNIVERSE. OVER MILLIONS OF YEARS, OUR ETI HAVE EVOLVED TO NONVIOLENCE, AND OVERSEE ALL CELESTIALS IN OUR UNIVERSE WHO ARE NOT YET 100% OBEDIENT TO GOD. IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO SERVE GOD WHILE ASSISTING OUR ETI TO BRING ZERO POINT ENERGY TO OUR PLANET.

Did you catch that? About extraterrestrial intelligence and God? More on that later.

To continue reading: ALIEN 1: We’re from Outer Space. We’re here to help.