Tag Archives: USA

38 Pictures That Show The Decline Of America Since The 1950s

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Although not so much now, I used to enjoy watching films from the past as a way of traveling through time to watch people and culture from different eras. And of all the decades, America in the 1950s always struck me as a time of stability, decency, and optimism. It is also quite refreshing to watch feminine and classy women who were around just few generations ago.

Of course, the reality wasn’t as rosy as what is shown in the films. As with all other decades, America faced number of problems with the issue of race and the Cold War being notable examples. That said, I don’t think any era was ever “perfect” or great for everyone and I don’t think there ever will be such thing.

So, without getting too caught up in nostalgia, I think the 1950s stands as a prime example of how stability and prosperity, in combination with traditional family values, can facilitate a harmonious society. And the following pictures and graphs will show just how quickly things can change when the government and subversive social elements decide to alter the existing order by experimenting with ideas of ‘equality’ and using the citizens as objects for profit.

Family

A nuclear family is the most basic unit of a healthy society and the 1950s was the last time America as a whole witnessed stable family units.

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Women back then were happy being wives and mothers unlike the hags today who are slaving away in cubicles.

You can criticize anything else about the 50s, but it is hard to argue against the quality of family life back then.

Marriage, however, has been experiencing a rapid decline since.

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Why such decline you wonder? See below.

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It’s inevitable for marriage to suffer and the sexes to become antagonized when women decide to abandon family life for careers. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but as they say, the rest is history.

Life

People in the 50s lived simple and happy lives where they enjoyed actual face-to-face interactions. There was no need for superficial online status comparisons. Other human beings were people to interact with and not just sources of validation to get “likes” from.

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Crime And Safety

The 50s experienced an extremely low crime rate to a point where families didn’t feel the need to lock their doors or windows at night.

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The recent drop in violence probably has more to do with the complete emasculation of men starting in the 90s than any improvements in society.

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The rise of prison nation.

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Rape rate was lowest when women were being ‘oppressed’ by the patriarchy, only to shoot up with the rise of feminism. Coincidence?

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I’m sure feminists will just argue that all sex was rape back in the day.

Women

Women back then were thin, healthy, and feminine without the trashy tattoos and piercings you see today.

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But of course, it was the 1950s that gave birth to the fast food culture with disastrous consequences for American health and beauty.

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Maybe they need to do more chores around the house instead of sitting at a desk job.

And perhaps more importantly, women were happy being women because they didn’t have to constantly lie to themselves that they were happier with a career.

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Today, many women rely on antidepressants just to function on a daily basis without breaking down. Is that really what feminists fought so hard to achieve?

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The rise of antidepressants. American women today are miserable and mentally ill thanks to feminism forcing them to juggle work and family life. About 1 in 4 are currently on psychiatric drugs.

Health

Besides obesity and depression which I’ve already mentioned above, American health has been in steady decline since the end of 1950s.

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If the trend continues, 1 out of every 3 Americans are expected suffer from diabetes by 2050.

National health expenditure, as a consequence, has been growing like a tumor.

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What’s shocking is how fast children’s health have been declining in the past couple of decades.

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These children didn’t needed to be ‘cured’ of ADHD.

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I wonder if the sudden rise of learning disorders has anything to do with the fact that women are delaying marriage as much as possible for their careers?

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This is only for Down syndrome, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true with many other developmental disorders.

Dating

Dating and forming relationships were simple back in the day without the need to play games.

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Many men today fare poorly when it comes to dating because they interact with women as if it’s still the 1950s. It’s also ironic how many male feminists claim to respect women based on values that were formed back in patriarchal times. Sorry to burst your bubbles chumps, but your chivalry doesn’t work today.

Economy

United States during this time was at the peak of its economical dominance in the world, representing about a third of the entire world’s economy.

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Then they decided that it would be great to flood the job market with women so that wages could stay low.

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As you can see, male employment has been plummeting since the 50s. When you disenfranchise those who are the backbone of your society and take away any incentive for them to marry and raise a family, you can be sure that everything else will start to fall apart.

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Welfare = Single Mothers = Children Without Fathers = Increased Crime and Social Decadence.

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Interestingly, taxes on the rich were at its highest during this era.

Conclusion

America has been decaying rapidly since the 1950s with almost every aspect of society failing—and things are only about to get even worse. While this is a showcase of how good things can be lost so easily, it is also a demonstration of what can be possible under a patriarchal order with proper social values.

While things may seem impossible to change at the moment, remember that history has always been full of unanticipated events that quickly turned things around to transform the society at large. Think of how much China has recovered (and now thriving) since their devastating Communist past from just a few decades ago.

Anything is possible, you just need to be ready for it.

Source: Return Of Kings

https://whiskeytangotexas.com/2016/04/09/america-1956-vs-america-2016/

 

 

 

 

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Refuse To Celebrate July 4th Militarism

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Did you know that 85 to 90 percent of war’s casualties are non-combatant civilians? That is the conclusion reached by a nine-person research team in the June 2014 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The deaths of soldiers who are fighting the war are a small part of the human and economic cost. Clearly, wars do not protect the lives of civilians. The notion that soldiers are dying for us is false. Non-combatants are the main victims of war.

Keep that in mind for July 4th.

July 4th is America’s most important national holiday celebrating American independence from Great Britain. On July 4th, 1776, America’s Founding Fathers declared that the Thirteen Colonies were no longer colonies but an independent country in which the Rights of Englishmen would prevail for all citizens and not only for King George’s administrators. (Actually, the Second Continental Congress voted in favor of independence on July 2, and historians debate whether the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4 or August 2.)

In this American assertion of self-determination citizens of Great Britain were not allowed to vote. Therefore, according to Washington’s position on the votes in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine–the former Russian territories of Donetsk and Luhansk–America’s Declaration of Independence was “illegitimate and illegal.”

On July 4th all across America there will be patriotic speeches about our soldiers who gave their lives for their country. To an informed person these speeches are curious. I am hard pressed to think of any examples of our soldiers giving their lives for our country. US Marine General Smedley Butler had the same problem. He said that his Marines gave their lives for United Fruit Company’s control of Central America. “War is a racket,” said General Butler, pointing out that US participation in World War I produced 21,000 new American millionaires and billionaires.

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When General Butler said “war is a racket,” he meant that war is a racket for a few people getting rich on the backs of millions of dead people. According to the article in the American Journal of Public Health, during the 20th century 190 million deaths could be directly and indirectly related to war.

190 million is 60 million more than the entire US population in the year that I was born.

The only war fought on US territory was the war against Southern Secession. In this war Irish immigrants fresh off the boat gave their lives for American Empire. As soon as the South was conquered, the Union forces were set loose on the Plains Indians and destroyed them as well.

Empire over life. That has always been Washington’s guiding principle.

America’s wars have always been fought elsewhere–Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, Philippines, Japan, Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Somalia. Washington even attacks countries with which the US is not at war, such as Pakistan and Yemen, and engages in proxy wars. The article cited above reports: “The United States launched 201 overseas military operations between the end of World War II and 2001, and since then, others, including Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Not a single one of these wars and military operations had anything whatsoever to do with defending the US population from foreign threats.

Not even Japan and Germany posed a threat to the US. Neither country had any prospect of invading the US and neither country had any such war plans.

Let’s assume Japan had conquered China, Burma, and Indonesia. With such a vast territory to occupy, Japan could not have spared a single division with which to invade the US, and, of course, any invasion fleet would never have made it across the Pacific. Just as was the fate of the Japanese fleet at Midway, an invasion fleet would have been sitting ducks for the US Navy.

Assume Germany had extended its conquests over Europe to Great Britain, Russia and North Africa. Germany would have been unable to successfully occupy such a vast territory and could not have spared a single soldier to send to invade America. Even the US superpower was unable to successfully occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, countries with small land areas and populations in comparison.

Except for its wars against the South, the Plains Indians, Haiti, Spain, Panama, Grenada, and Mexico, the US has never won a war. The Southern Confederates, usually outnumbered, often defeated the Union generals. Japan was defeated by its own lack of military resources. Germany was defeated by the Soviet Union.

The allied invasion of Normandy did not occur until June 6, 1944, by which time the Red Army had ground up the Wehrmacht.When the allies landed in Normandy, three-fourths of the German Army was on the Russian front. The allied invasion was greatly helped by Germany’s shortage of fuel for mobilized units. If Hitler had not allowed hubris to lead him into invading the Soviet Union and, instead, just sat on his European conquests, no allied invasion would have been possible. Today Germany would rule all of Europe, including the UK. The US would have no European Empire with which to threaten Russia, China, and the Middle East.

In Korea in the 1950s, General Douglas MacArthur, victorious over Japan, was fought to a standstill by third world China. In Vietnam American technological superiority was defeated by a third world army. The US rolled up mighty Grenada in the 1980s, but lost its proxy war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

Is there anyone so foolish as to think that Grenada or the Sandinistas were a threat to the United States, that North Korea or North Vietnam comprised threats to the United States? Yet, the Korean and Vietnam wars were treated as if the fate of the United States hung in the balance. The conflicts produced voluminous dire predictions and strategic debates. The communist threat replaced the Hitler threat. The American Empire was at risk from third world peoples. Dominoes would fall everywhere.

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Currently Washington is at work overturning President Reagan’s accomplishment of ending the Cold War. Washington orchestrated a coup that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine and installed a stooge government. Washington’s stooges began issuing threats against Russia and the Russian speaking population in Ukraine. These threats resulted in those parts of Ukraine that were formerly part of Russia declaring their independence. Washington blames Russia, not itself, and is stirring the pot, demonizing Russia and recreating the Cold War with military deployments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe.

Washington needs to reinvent the Cold War in order to justify the hundreds of billions of dollars that Washington annually feeds the military/security complex, some of which recycles in political campaign donations. In contrast to Washington’s propaganda, an honest view of the events in Ukraine can be found here: http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

In the United States patriotism and militarism have become synonyms. This July 4th find the courage to remind the militarists that Independence Day celebrates the Declaration of Independence, not the American Empire. The Declaration of Independence was not only a declaration of independence from King George III but also a declaration of independence from unaccountable tyrannical government. The oath of office commits the US officeholder to the defense of the US Constitution from enemies ”foreign and domestic.”

In the 21st century Americans’ worst enemies are not al Qaeda, Iran, Russia, and China. America’s worst enemies are our own presidents who have declared repeatedly that the orchestrated “war on terror” gives them the right to set aside the civil liberties guaranteed to every citizen by the US Constitution. Presidential disrespect for the US Constitution is so extreme that Obama has nominated David Barron to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Barron is the Justice (sic) Department official who wrote the memos fabricating a legal justification for the Office of President to murder US citizens without due process of law. http://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/tell-the-senate-keep-assassination-memo-nominee-david-barron-off-the-federal-bench?akid=10688.1090360.wP_x-8&rd=1&suppress_one_click=true&t=3

Having stripped US citizens of their civil liberties, executive branch agencies are now stocking up vast amounts of ammunition, and the Department of Agriculture has placed an order for submachine guns. The Department for Homeland Security has acquired 2,717 mine-resistant armored personnel carriers. Congress and the media are not interested in why the executive branch is arming itself so heavily against the American people.

During the entirely of the 21st century–indeed, dating from the Clinton regime at the end of the 20th century–the executive branch has declared its independence from law (both domestic and international) and from the Constitution, Congress, and the Judiciary. The executive branch, with the help of the Republican Federalist Society, has established that the office of the executive is a tyranny unaccountable to law, domestic or international, as long as the executive declares a state of war, even a war that is not conducted against another country or countries but a vague, undefined or ill-defined war against a vague stateless enemy such as al Qaeda, with which the US is currently allied against Syria.

Al Qaeda now has a dual role. Al Qaeda is Washington’s agent for overthrowing the elected Assad government in Syria and al Qaeda is the evil force against which US civil liberties must be sacrificed.

The illegitimate power asserted by the Office of the President is not only a threat to every American but also to every living being on planet earth. As the article cited above reports: “Approximately 17,300 nuclear weapons are presently deployed in at least 9 countries, many of which can be launched and reach their targets within 45 minutes.”

It only takes one fool–and Washington has thousands of fools–and all life on earth terminates in 45 minutes. The neoconservative belief that the United States is the exceptional, indispensable country chosen by history to rule the earth is a belief full of the arrogance and hubris that lead to war.

Keep your likely fate in mind as you watch the military bands and marches on July 4th and listen to the hot air of militarism.

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by Paul Craig Roberts

Castrated

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After three decades of internecine war, Abdul-Aziz bin Saud, allied with the fundamentalist Wahhabist Islamic sect, consolidated the House of Saud’s dominance over Arabia in 1932 with the tacit support of regional imperial power Great Britain. The bedrock of the Saudi Arabian economy, the massive pool of oil in the Al-Hasa region along the Persian Gulf coast, was discovered in 1938 and development began in 1941. Towards the end of World War II, President Roosevelt and Abdul-Aziz reached a handshake deal that has governed relations between the two nations ever since: Saudi Arabia would guarantee the flow of oil to the US at a reasonable price; the US would protect the Saud regime.

Like so many born into wealth, the House of Saud has mistaken fortuitous circumstances for divine favor, haughtily condescending to a world that goes along with its pretensions because of its oil. Saudi Arabia is dependent for its security and armaments on the west, particularly the US. No particular skill is necessary to extract (its reserves are among the world’s shallowest and easiest to tap), transport, or export its oil. It exports most of its oil because it has little industry, although its riches have made it a financial center and funded one of the world’s most generous welfare states. Much of the actual labor is performed by immigrants. The partial diversion of oil revenues has kept the non-House of Saud population pacified.

Oil has made the House of Saud one of the wealthiest extended clans in the world. It retains this privileged position by virtue of US military and intelligence support and its relationship with the Wahhabist clerics. Essentially, the clerics give their unwavering support to the regime, and the regime faithfully executes Sharia law (and those who violate it) in accordance with the dictates of the clerics.

It is an unfortunate tendency of the silver-spoon set not to confine itself to philanthropy, collecting art and fast cars, and other harmless pursuits. They seem compelled to tell the rest of us how to live and think. The Wahhabists make the do-gooders plaguing America look benign. It may be true that some sects of Islam are peaceful and only want to live and let live, but not the Wahhabists, it’s their brand of Sunni Islam or nothing. Everyone else is an infidel, to be converted or beheaded. So rather than just building big palaces in the desert, praying five times a day, and shopping in Paris, London, New York, and Beverly Hills, Saudi silver-spooners export their Puritanical Islam and expect obsequence from the rest of the world.

The US government promised Saudi Arabia that it would remove the military bases it erected there during Gulf War I after Saddam Hussein had been vanquished from Kuwait. It did not do so. Fighting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, Osama bid Laden, a native of Saudi Arabia from a wealthy and well-connected family, had been happy enough to accept aid from the US. His anger at the bases and the broken promise reportedly sparked the 9/11 attacks.

Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabians. Twenty-eight classified pages of a 2002 Congressional 9/11 investigation may well show that they received assistance from members of the Saudi Arabian government and royal family. Family members of 9/11 victims have long pressed for their release, although it will not, because of the sovereign immunity doctrine, help them in their efforts to sue the Saudi government. Senate Bill 2040 would declassify the 28 pages and suspend sovereign immunity for any government found complicit in a terrorist attack that kills Americans on US soil.

The Saudis have cranked up their greasy US lobbying apparatus to stop the bill, and have threatened to dump $750 billion in US debt if it becomes law. The 28 pages should be released because it will add to what we know about 9/11, but there is no chance Senate Bill 2040 will become law. President Obama has pledged to veto the legislation if it passes, and went to Saudi Arabia last week to “reassure” its leaders. Even if it didn’t upset the apple cart of the US-Saudi Arabian alliance, it would open the door to other nations and multinational bodies suspending the US’s sovereign immunity for say, drone strikes and indiscriminate bombings that have killed innocent people, arguably terrorist acts.

Unfortunately, the 9/11 imbroglio will probably not be the catalyst for a rupture in the alliance. Further exposure of Saudi duplicity would underscore an argument SLL has repeatedly made: the Saudis play a double game with the US. They have funded al Qaeda and its offshoots, notably ISIS, and have underwritten the world-wide export of Wahhabism and its doctrines of jihad and Islamic domination. The US friendship with the Saudi regime undercuts its claim of moral exceptionalism; the regime is among the world’s most repressive. Its Sharia law outlaws homosexuality and makes women chattels. Civil liberties are nonexistent, and lashings or beheadings await those who dare to speak out against the regime.

The proper US response to the Saudi’s threat would have been the middle finger. Ever-happy-to-monetize central banks and the world’s capital markets can handle a $750 billion sale of US debt. There would be a price concession as markets soaked the Saudis, but after the sale prices would rally and there would be no permanent damage. That the US would allow itself to be threatened illustrates what happens when a confederated empire rests on borrowed money. How long can an empire last that succumbs to its creditors’ threats? (China has a lot more US government debt than Saudi Arabia.)

Mostly what the US response illustrates is what happens when you have a government run by eunuchs. A bipartisan, bought-and-paid-for coalition of chicken hawks sends in bombers, drones, special forces, and the NSA to wage lucrative, costly, bloody, doomed-to-fail, civil-liberties-destroying wars against terrorist “threats,” but sucks up to an empty-robe regime that has indoctrinated, funded, and armed al Qaeda and ISIS. What would the Saudis do with their oil if the world’s largest oil consumer bought elsewhere, especially as the low oil price bleeds Saudi Arabia’s foreign currency reserves? What would their military—which can’t take out fourth-rate Yemen—do if the world’s number one arms supplier refused to sell to it? What would their corrupt and tyrannical alliance of mosque and state do if the US denounced the corruption and tyranny? What leverage would the Saudi’s have after they sold their $750 billion in debt?

by Robert Gore | Straight Line Logic

America 1956 vs. America 2016

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Is America a better place today than it was back in 1956?  Of course many Americans living right now couldn’t even imagine a world without cell phones, Facebook or cable television, but was life really so bad back then?

60 years ago, families would actually spend time on their front porches and people would actually have dinner with their neighbors.  60 years ago, cars were still cars, football was still football and it still meant something to be an American.  In our country today, it is considered odd to greet someone as they are walking down the street, and if someone tries to be helpful it is usually because they want something from you.  But things were very different in the middle of the last century.  Men aspired to be gentlemen and women aspired to be ladies, and nobody had ever heard of  “bling”, “sexting” or “twerking”.  Of course life was far from perfect, but people actually had standards and they tried to live up to them.

So how did it all go so wrong?

Could it be possible that life in America peaked back then and we have been in decline ever since?

Before you answer, I want to share with you a list of comparisons between life in America in 1956 and life in America in 2016…

In 1956, John Wayne, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe were some of the biggest stars in the entertainment world.

In 2016, our young people look up to “stars” like Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.

In 1956, Americans were watching I Love Lucy and The Ed Sullivan Show on television.

In 2016, the major television networks are offering us trashy shows such as Mistresses and Lucifer.

In 1956, you could buy a first-class stamp for just 3 cents.

In 2016, a first-class stamp will cost you 49 cents.

In 1956, gum chewing and talking in class were some of the major disciplinary problems in our schools.

In 2016, many of our public schools have been equipped with metal detectors because violence has gotten so far out of control.

In 1956, children went outside and played when they got home from school.

In 2016, our parks and our playgrounds are virtually empty and we have the highest childhood obesity rate on the entire planet.

In 1956, if a kid skinned his knee he was patched up and sent back outside to play.

In 2016, if a kid skins his knee he is likely to be shipped off to the emergency room.

In 1956, “introducing solids” to a baby’s diet may have meant shoving a piece of pizza down her throat.

In 2016, we have “attachment parenting” which advocates treating children like babies almost until they reach puberty.

In 1956, seat belts and bicycle helmets were considered to be optional pieces of equipment, and car safety seats were virtually unknown.

In 2016, millions of us are afraid to leave our homes for fear that something might happen to us, and if something does happen we slap lawsuits on one another at the drop of a hat.

In 1956, many Americans regularly left their cars and the front doors of their homes unlocked.

In 2016, many Americans live with steel bars on their windows and gun sales are at all-time record highs.

In 1956, about 5 percent of all babies in America were born to unmarried parents.

In 2016, more than 40 percent of all babies in America will be born to unmarried parents.

In 1956, one income could support an entire middle class family.

In 2016, approximately one-third of all Americans don’t make enough money to even cover the basics even though both parents have entered the workforce in most households.

In 1956, redistribution of wealth was considered to be something that “the communists” did.

In 2016, the federal government systematically redistributes our wealth, and two communists are fighting for the Democratic nomination.

In 1956, there were about 2 million people living in Detroit and it was one of the greatest cities on Earth.

In 2016, there are only about 688,000 people living in Detroit and it has become a joke to the rest of the world.

In 1956, millions of Americans dreamed of moving out to sunny California.

In 2016, millions of Americans are moving out of California and never plan to go back.

In 1956, television networks would not even show husbands and wives in bed together.

In 2016, there is so much demand for pornography that there are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

In 1956, the American people had a great love for the U.S. Constitution.

In 2016, “constitutionalists” are considered to be potential terrorists by the U.S. government.

In 1956, people from all over the world wanted to come to the United States to pursue “the American Dream”.

In 2016, 48 percent of all U.S. adults under the age of 30 believe that “the American Dream is dead”.

In 1956, the United States loaned more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.

In 2016, the United States owes more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.

And there is one more thing that I would like to share with you before I wrap up this article.

This is what the New York skyline looked like on March 31st, 1956…

New York Skyline 31 March 1956

And this is the kind of thing that we are seeing displayed on the Empire State Building these days…

New York Skyline Kali

For those that don’t know, that is an image of the Hindu goddess of death, time and destruction known as Kali.  And next month a reproduction of the 48-foot-tall arch that stood in front of the Temple of Baal in Palmyra, Syria is going up in Times Square.

So now that you have seen what I have to share, what do you think?

Has America changed for the better, or has it changed for the worse?

by Michael Snyder | The Daily Sheeple


 

How Did They Survive Childhood?

Are you one of the baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964? How did you survive without government intervention?

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Their mothers smoked and/or drank while pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, they were put to sleep on their tummies in baby cribs covered with brightly colored, lead-based paints.

There were no childproof lids on medicine or special locks on cabinet doors.

They rode bikes, we wore baseball caps, not specially engineered helmets.

As infants, they rode in cars without car seats or booster seats, no seat belts and no air bags. Sometimes, as tots, they rode in small moving boxes packed with blankets and toys.

They rode in the back of pickup trucks and no one was arrested or cited.

They drank water from garden hoses, not from plastic bottles.

They shared a single bottle of Coca-Cola with three friends — and no one died.

They ate cupcakes with food coloring, white bread, real butter and bacon. In fact, we drank Kool-Aid mixed with tablespoons of real sugar.

Yet they weren’t overweight, because we were always outside playing.

They would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as they were back when dusk fell. And no one was able to reach them all day. And: they were okay.

They spend hours in the forest with Daisy rifles, or building go-carts without brakes, or sledding with wooden and steel monstrosities that could sever a limb.

They didn’t have Playstations, Nintendo’s and X-Boxes. There were no video games, no cable television, no DVD players. There were no computers, no web, no Facebook, no Twitter.

They had friends and we went outside and found them… without cell phones or text messages.

They fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits resulting from these accidents. They ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in them forever.

They were given BB guns and knives for their birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, played lawn darts and, although they were told it would happen, they did not put out many eyes.

They rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.

The boomers have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, inventors and entrepreneurs ever.

The last 50 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

They had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and they learned how to deal with it.


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Then they started reading this…

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that opposed this.

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and gave up everything for this.

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38 Pictures That Show The Decline Of America Since The 1950s

source: Real Estate & Lending Insider

Playing The Government’s Game: When It Comes To Violence, We All Lose

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“When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.”  – John Lennon

Yes, the government is corrupt.

Yes, the system is broken. By broken, I mean it’s “dysfunctional, gridlocked, and, in general, incapable of doing what needs to be done.”

Yes, the government is out of control and overreaching on almost every front.

Yes, the government’s excesses—pork barrel spending, endless wars, etc.—are pushing the nation to a breaking point.

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Yes, many Americans are afraid. Who wouldn’t be afraid of an increasingly violent and oppressive federal government?

Yes, the citizenry has little protection against standing armies (domestic and military), invasive surveillance, marauding SWAT teams, an overwhelming government arsenal of assault vehicles and firepower, and a barrage of laws that criminalize everything from vegetable gardens to lemonade stands.

Yes, in the eyes of the American surveillance state, “we the people” are little more than suspects and criminals to be monitored, policed, prosecuted and imprisoned. As former law professor John Baker, who has studied the growing problem of over criminalization, noted, “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime.”

Yes, the United States of America is not the democracy that is purports to be, but rather an oligarchy ruled by a wealthy corporate elite.

Yes, politics is a sham. Average Americans have largely lost all of the conventional markers of influencing government, whether through elections, petition, or protest, have no way to impact their government, no way to be heard, and no assurance that their concerns are truly being represented.

Yes, the Obama administration’s efforts to identify, target and punish “domestic extremists” through the use of surveillance, corporate spies, global police and the Strong Cities network sends a troubling message to all Americans that any opposition to the government—no matter how benign—will be viewed with suspicion and will likely be treated with hostility.

Yes, we have reached a tipping point. The freedoms we once enjoyed are increasingly being eroded: speech, assembly, association, privacy, etc.

Yes, something needs to be done about the government’s long train of abuses, power grabs, erosion of private property, and overt acts of tyranny.

Yes, many Americans, increasingly dissatisfied with the government and its heavy-handed tactics, are tired of being used and abused and are ready to say “enough is enough.”

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No, violence is not the answer.

A handful of armed protesters are not going to fix what’s broken in the government by forcing a showdown with government agents. In fact, this kind of scenario plays right into the government’s hands by provoking a violent confrontation that allows government officials to sanctimoniously justify their use of surveillance, military weaponry and tactics, and laws criminalizing guns and hate speech in order to target anyone who even vaguely resembles an “anti-government extremist.”

Take the latest spectacle in Oregon, for example.

Armed activists led by brothers Ryan and Ammon Bundy have occupied a federal wildlife refuge. The Bundys (infamous for their 2014 standoff with the Bureau of Land Management over grazing rights on federal land in Nevada) are protesting the government’s prosecution of two ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, who have been sentenced to five years in prison for allegedly setting back fires on government-owned land in Oregon. (Mind you, the government owns more than half the land in Oregon.)

Few conflicts are ever black and white, and this situation involving the Bundys, the Hammonds and the BLM is no exception. Yet the issue is not whether the Hammonds are arsonists as the government claims, or whether the Bundys are anti-government extremists as the government claims, or even whether ranchers should have their access to government-owned lands regulated as the BLM claims.

No, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the larger question at play here is who owns—or controls—the government: is it “we the people” or private corporations?

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Are American citizens shareholders of the government’s vast repositories, or are we merely serfs and tenant farmers in bondage to corporate overlords? Do we have a say in how the government is run, or are we merely on the receiving end of the government’s dictates? What recourse do we have if we don’t approve of the government’s actions?

Almost every struggle between the citizenry and the government is, at its core, about whether we are masters or slaves in this constantly evolving relationship with the government.

  • Do parents have a right to allow their children to play outside alone, or must they abide by the government’s dictates about how to raise their families?
  • Do activists have a right to freely associate with one another, assemble in public, and voice their opinions publicly or privately, or must they be constrained by what the government and its corporate partners deem to be appropriate?
  • Do residents of a community have to obey whatever a police officer says, lawful or not, or do Americans have a right to resist an unlawful order without getting shot or arrested?

It doesn’t matter what the issue is – whether it’s a rancher standing his ground over grazing rights, a minister jailed for holding a Bible study in his own home, or a community outraged over police shootings of unarmed citizens – these are the building blocks of a political powder keg.

Much like the heated protests that arose after the police shootings in Ferguson and Baltimore, there’s a subtext to the Oregon incident that must not be ignored, and it is simply this: America is a pressure cooker with no steam valve, and things are about to blow.

This is what happens when a parasitical government muzzles the citizenry, fences them in, herds them, brands them, whips them into submission, forces them to ante up the sweat of their brows while giving them little in return, and then provides them with little to no outlet for voicing their discontent.

As psychologist Erich Fromm recognized in his insightful book, On Civil Disobedience: “If a man can only obey and not disobey, he is a slave; if he can only disobey and not obey, he is a rebel (not a revolutionary). He acts out of anger, disappointment, resentment, yet not in the name of a conviction or a principle.”

Let me say it again: an armed occupation of a government property only plays right into the government’s hands and increases its power over the citizenry. Yet it speaks to a growing tension over how to bring about meaningful change when dealing with a government that refuses to listen to its citizens.

This is what happens when people get desperate, when citizens lose hope, and when lawful, nonviolent alternatives appear pointless.

Whether the parties involved are blameless or not, whether they’re using the wrong tactics or not, whether their agendas are selfless or not, this is the face of a nation undergoing a nervous breakdown on all fronts.

Now all that remains is a spark, and it need not be a very big one, to set the whole powder keg aflame.

The government has been anticipating and preparing for such an explosion for years. For example, in 2008, a U.S. Army War College report warned that the military must be prepared for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,” which could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse,” “purposeful domestic resistance,” “pervasive public health emergencies” or “loss of functioning political and legal order”—all related to dissent and protests over America’s economic and political disarray. Consequently, predicted the report, the “widespread civil violence would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremes to defend basic domestic order and human security.”

In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released two reports, one on “Rightwing Extremism,” which broadly defines right wing extremists as individuals and groups “that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely,” and one on “Left wing Extremism,” which labeled environmental and animal rights activist groups as extremists.

Incredibly, both reports use the words terrorist and extremist interchangeably.

That same year, the DHS launched Operation Vigilant Eagle, which calls for surveillance of military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, characterizing them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.” These reports indicate that for the government, anyone seen as opposing the government—whether they’re Left, Right or somewhere in between—can be labeled an extremist. Under such a definition, John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr., Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams—all of whom protested and passionately spoke out against government practices with which they disagreed—would be prime targets.

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Fast forward a few years, and you have the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which President Obama has continually re-upped, that allows the military to take you out of your home, lock you up with no access to friends, family or the courts if you’re seen as an extremist. Now connect the dots, from the 2009 Extremism reports to the NDAA and the UN’s Strong Cities Network with its globalized police forces, the National Security Agency’s far-reaching surveillance networks, and fusion centers that collect and share surveillance data between local, state and federal police agencies.

Add in tens of thousands of armed, surveillance drones that will soon blanket American skies, facial recognition technology that will identify and track you wherever you go and whatever you do. And then to complete the circle, toss in the real-time crime centers being deployed in cities across the country, which will be attempting to “predict” crimes and identify criminals before they happen based on widespread surveillance, complex mathematical algorithms and prognostication programs.

Hopefully you’re getting the picture, which is how easy it is for the government to identify, label and target individuals as “extremist.”

All that we have been subjected to in recent years—living under the shadow of NSA spying; motorists strip searched and anally probed on the side of the road; innocent Americans spied upon while going about their daily business in schools and stores; homeowners having their doors kicked in by militarized SWAT teams serving routine warrants—illustrates how the government deals with people it views as potential “extremists”: with heavy-handed tactics designed to intimidate the populace into submission and discourage anyone from stepping out of line or challenging the status quo.

What we’re grappling with is a double standard in what the government metes out to the citizenry, and how the citizenry is supposed to treat the government.

SWAT teams can crash through our doors without impunity, but if we dare to defend ourselves against unknown government assailants, we’ll be shot or jailed.

Government agents can confiscate our homes, impound our cars and seize our bank accounts on the slightest suspicion of wrongdoing, but we’ll face jail time and fines for refusing to pay taxes in support of government programs with which we might disagree.

Government spies can listen in on our phone calls, read our emails and text messages, track our movements, photograph our license plates, and even enter our bio metric information into DNA databases, but those who dare to film potential police misconduct will likely get roughed up by the police, arrested, and charged with violating various and sundry crimes.

This phenomenon is what philosopher Abraham Kaplan referred to as the law of the instrument, which essentially says that to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In the scenario that has been playing out in recent years, we the citizenry have become the nails to be hammered by the government’s battalion of laws and law enforcers: its police officers, technicians, bureaucrats, spies, snitches, inspectors, accountants, etc.

This is exactly what those who drafted the U.S. Constitution feared: that laws and law enforcers would be used as tools by a despotic government to wage war against the citizenry.

That is exactly what we are witnessing today: a war against the American citizenry.

Is it any wonder then that Americans are starting to resist?

by The Rutherford Institute