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Re: Inside the Religious Death Cult That Massacred Seven in Panama
« Reply #4080 on: January 23, 2020, 04:34:22 AM »
Inside the Religious Death Cult That Massacred Seven in Panama
A fundamentalist sect sacrificed multiple victims, including a pregnant woman and six children, in a remote jungle village. Its extremism was imported direct from the USA.




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<div itemscope="" itemtype="https://schema.org/Person"><img src="https://img.thedailybeast.com/image/upload/c_fill,h_200,w_200,x_0,y_0/v1490012513/author/Jeremy-Krit-author.jpg" itemprop="image" width="81" height="81" />
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<h4 itemprop="name">Jeremy Kryt</h4>
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<div><time datetime="2020-01-20T04:44:45-05:00"><span> Published </span><span>Jan. 20, 2020 </span><span>4:44AM ET </span></time></div>
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<p>CALI, Colombia—At first glance, the story looks almost too twisted to be true, like some Heart of Darkness spin-off for the post-post-colonial age.</p>
<p>Joseph Conrad himself couldn’t have dreamed up an <a class="LinkWrapper LinkWrapper--external" href="https://www.elheraldo.co/mundo/fiscalia-panamena-acusa-secta-de-sacrificar-ninos-694601">episode[/url] more gruesome and vile than the one Panamanian police stumbled onto last Tuesday, deep within a semi-autonomous indigenous comarca (district) of the Ngäbe-Buglé people. Authorities had been alerted by a handful of villagers who turned up at a hospital outside the comarca showing signs of violent beatings, their mouths and tongues roasted with burning sticks, telling tales as best they could of strange rituals going on in the jungle.</p>
<p>So the cops were prepared to find something bad out there in the selva, District Prosecutor Rafael Baloyes <a class="LinkWrapper LinkWrapper--external" href="https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/200116/200117-mis-20-anos-servicio-jamas-vi-escena-baloyes">told[/url] local journalists. They just didn’t know <a class="LinkWrapper LinkWrapper--external" href="https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.laestrella.com.pa/amp/nacional/200116/mis-20-anos-servicio-jamas-vi-escena-baloyes">how bad[/url] it would be.</p>
<p>Upon arriving at the hamlet of Alto Terrón—situated in northwestern Panama and lacking both electricity and phone service—investigators found at least 15 people being <a class="LinkWrapper LinkWrapper--external" href="https://www.midiario.com/policiales/los-macabros-detalles-de-la-secta-religiosa-en-la-comarca-ngabe-bugle/">tortured[/url] in a thatch-roofed structure belonging to a sect called “Nueva Luz de Dios” (New Light of God). The victims, including two pregnant women, were bound on the floor before a ritually slaughtered goat. At least one woman was naked, and had likely been raped. Meanwhile, some nine “priests” were exhorting the prisoners to accept “the word of God,” while striking them with knives and machetes.</p>
<p>“All these rites were meant to kill them if they did not repent of their sins,” Prosecutor Baloyes said. Armed officers broke up the ceremony, cuffed the crazed clergy, and freed the detainees. Because the area was so remote, helicopters had to be called in to evacuate the wounded.</p>
<p>About a mile from the “church,” police <a class="LinkWrapper LinkWrapper--external" href="https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/mundo/secta-religiosa-torturo-y-sacrifico-6-ninos-y-una-mujer-embarazada-en-panama?amp">found[/url] a shallow grave that held seven bodies, apparently belonging to victims who had not repented fast enough. One of these was Bellin Flores, 33, who had been six months pregnant when she was murdered. <a class="LinkWrapper LinkWrapper--external" href="https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-latin-america-51144629">Five of the others[/url] were Flores’ children, aged 1 to 11. </p>
<p>The five slain kids were the grandchildren of Mario González, 60, who stands <a class="LinkWrapper LinkWrapper--external" href="https://m.critica.com.pa/sucesos/abuelo-que-pertenece-secta-presuntamente-asesino-su-hija-y-cinco-nietos-570238">accused[/url] of their deaths. The self-described “messiah” of the sect, González was also the father of the pregnant Flores, and allegedly killed her as well. The sixth victim in the grave, also a minor, apparently belonged to a family of the messiah’s unfortunate neighbors.</p>
<p>“One of [the priests] said that God had given them a message,” Baloyes said. It supposedly came in a dream, demanding that they cleanse the village through exorcism.</p>
<p>But others claimed the death cult wasn’t working on God’s behalf, at least not their God’s, at all.</p>
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<p>A police officer photographs residents of the Ngabe Bugle indigenous jungle community of El Terron, Panama, on Jan. 17, 2020.</p>
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<div class="Caption__title-and-caption"><span style="color: inherit; font-family: inherit; font-size: 18px;">Arnulfo Franco/AP</span></div>
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<p>An elected leader of the Comarca Ngabé Buglé, Ricardo Miranda, issued a <a class="LinkWrapper LinkWrapper--external" href="https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.telemetro.com/nacionales/2020/01/16/congreso-ngaebe-lleva-registro/2445714.amp.html">statement[/url] decrying the Alto Terrón sect as demonic and saying it went against the Christianity traditionally practiced in the region.</p>
<p>“We demand the immediate eradication of this satanic sect, which violates all practices of spirituality and coexistence found in the Holy Scriptures,” Miranda said. </p>
<p>Witnesses said the “New Light” group was relatively new to the area, having been active locally for about three months</p>
<p>Satanic rites. Child sacrifices. A messianic leader who slays his own family. These are the wicked and depraved parts of the story that have been making headlines throughout the hemisphere–the sensational angles that may give Trumpistas and Wall Builders fresh fuel for fearmongering, new talking points, under their breaths of course, about “savage brown people” south of the border.</p>
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<p>Burned clothes of people killed in a religious ritual in the jungle community of El Terron, Panama, on, Jan. 17, 2020.</p>
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<p>But there’s another side to this tale that makes it even more Conradian, involving as it does traditional people’s cultural degradation, harsh economic conditions, and a hard-line, extremist version of Christianity exported to Panama straight from the good old U.S. of A.</p>
<p>Maybe the Ngäbe-Buglé are the ones who need the wall.</p>
<p>Theirs is the largest and most populous of Panama’s five indigenous districts. Some <a class="LinkWrapper LinkWrapper--external" href="https://www.panamaamerica.com.pa/sociedad/el-ranking-de-la-pobreza-cifras-con-caras-invisibilizadas-1145806">96 percent[/url] of its 214,000 residents live in extreme poverty. There are few schools, clinics, and roads. Little local law enforcement. Almost no administrative infrastructure. </p>
<p>“These people are forgotten by the state,” says <a class="LinkWrapper LinkWrapper--external" href="https://uuniversidaddepanam.academia.edu/KevinS%C3%A1nchezSaavedra/CurriculumVitae">Kevin Sánchez[/url], a professor of anthropology at the University of Panama, who has lived and worked extensively among the Ngäbe-Buglé. Government presence, he says, "is practically nonexistent.”</p>
<p>Sánchez describes the area where the sect was located as extremely isolated, inhabited by an ethnic subgroup who speak a distinct dialect of the Buglé language and refer to themselves as the Uga Chere (We People).</p>
<p>Since the colonial era groups like the Uga Chere have been hounded by land- and resource-hungry outsiders driving them ever deeper into the bush.</p>
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<div class="SectionBreak__text"><strong>EVANGELICAL EXTREMISM</strong></div>
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<p>During the 1970s, the region was targeted by a wave of zealous evangelical missionaries who came Bible-thumping down from the States, according to Sánchez. They proselytized a dogmatic brand of Christianity that allowed little room for native people’s ancestral beliefs and cultural traditions. Already isolated by language and rugged terrain, the Uga Chere proved particularly vulnerable to such foreign influence.</p>
<p>“The missionaries pushed them to forget their own history. They confused the people, and destroyed their cultural memory,” Sánchez said.</p>
<p>In place of an age-old belief system, the Uga Chere began to practice a “fundamentalist, highly conservative religion” based on a literal interpretation of the Bible “that radicalized the people.”</p>
<p>In the absence of a strong state presence, indigenous religious figures in outlying communities eventually assumed de facto authority to settle disputes and distribute land and property. Ambitious leaders also used their newfound power for personal gain, in some cases ruling communities like the priest-kings of old.</p>
<p>“And now seven people are dead, and many more are hurt,” Sánchez said. “This is the ultimate consequence of abandonment [by the state] and exploitation [by the missionaries].” </p>
<p>As Conrad once wrote: “The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.”</p>
<p>To that point, this self-proclaimed messiah and his fellow fanatics can’t hide behind their past religious victimization, nor pretend that the teachings of false prophets from afar exonerate their crimes.</p>
<p>Even so, said Sánchez, certain factors must be acknowledged by Panamanian prosecutors going forward, such as the fact that many of the Alto Terrón villagers—including victims, witnesses, and maniacal zealots alike—speak little or no Spanish. They will have limited understanding of a modern judicial system and how it differs from traditional methods of indigenous justice.</p>
<p>“Cultural roots need to be properly understood by authorities,” Sánchez said. “History must be taken into account.”</p>
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Read the Posionwood Bible?

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Re: Inside the Religious Death Cult That Massacred Seven in Panama
« Reply #4081 on: January 23, 2020, 10:04:15 AM »
Inside the Religious Death Cult That Massacred Seven in Panama
A fundamentalist sect sacrificed multiple victims, including a pregnant woman and six children, in a remote jungle village. Its extremism was imported direct from the USA.




Read the Posionwood Bible?

No. But you made me look it up.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

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“It is now 100 seconds to midnight.”
« Reply #4082 on: Today at 03:50:44 AM »
"We move the Clock toward midnight because the means by which political leaders had previously managed these potentially civilization-ending dangers are themselves being dismantled or undermined, without a realistic effort to replace them with new or better management regimes. In effect, the international political infrastructure for controlling existential risk is degrading, leaving the world in a situation of high and rising threat."

“It is now 100 seconds to midnight.”
Such was the ominous headline Thursday from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists after moving its Doomsday Clock ahead 20 seconds.




To: Leaders and citizens of the world
Re: Closer than ever: It is 100 seconds to midnight
Date: January 23, 2020


A retreat from arms control creates a dangerous nuclear reality

The world is sleepwalking its way through a newly unstable nuclear landscape. The arms control boundaries that have helped prevent nuclear catastrophe for the last half century are being steadily dismantled.

In several areas, a bad situation continues to worsen. Throughout 2019, Iran increased its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, increased its uranium enrichment levels, and added new and improved centrifuges—all to express its frustration that the United States had withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal (formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA), re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran, and pressured other parties to the Iran nuclear agreement to stop their compliance with the agreement. Early this year, amid high US-Iranian tensions, the US military conducted a drone air strike that killed a prominent Iranian general in Iraq. Iranian leaders vowed to exact “severe revenge” on US military forces, and the Iranian government announced it would no longer observe limits, imposed by the JCPOA, on the number of centrifuges that it uses to enrich uranium.

Although Iran has not formally exited the nuclear deal, its actions appear likely to reduce the “breakout time” it would need to build a nuclear weapon, to less than the 12 months envisioned by parties to the JCPOA. At that point, other parties to the nuclear agreement—including the European Union and possibly Russia and China—may be compelled to acknowledge that Iran is not complying. What little is left of the agreement could crumble, reducing constraints on the Iranian nuclear program and increasing the likelihood of military conflict with the United States.

The demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty became official in 2019, and, as predicted, the United States and Russia have begun a new competition to develop and deploy weapons the treaty had long banned. Meanwhile, the United States continues to suggest that it will not extend New START, the agreement that limits US and Russian deployed strategic nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and that it may withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, which provides aerial overflights to build confidence and transparency around the world. Russia, meanwhile, continues to support an extension of New START.

The assault on arms control is exacerbated by the decay of great power relations. Despite declaring its intent to bring China into an arms control agreement, the United States has adopted a bullying and derisive tone toward its Chinese and Russian competitors. The three countries disagree on whether to pursue negotiations on outer space, missile defenses, and cyberwarfare. One of the few issues they do agree on: They all oppose the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which opened for signature in 2017. As an alternative, the United States has promoted, within the context of the review conference process of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), an initiative called “Creating the Environment for Nuclear Disarmament.” The success of this initiative may depend on its reception at the 2020 NPT Review Conference—a landmark 50th anniversary of the treaty.

US efforts to reach agreement with North Korea made little progress in 2019, despite an early summit in Hanoi and subsequent working-level meetings. After a North Korean deadline for end-of-year progress passed, Kim Jong Un announced he would demonstrate a new “strategic weapon” and indicated that North Korea would forge ahead without sanctions relief. Until now, the willingness of both sides to continue a dialogue was positive, but Chairman Kim seems to have lost faith in President Trump’s willingness to come to an agreement.

Without conscious efforts to reinvigorate arms control, the world is headed into an unregulated nuclear environment. Such an outcome could reproduce the intense arms race that was the hallmark of the early decades of the nuclear age. Both the United States and Russia have massive stockpiles of warheads and fissile material in reserve from which to draw, if they choose. Should China decide to build up to US and Russian arsenal levels—a development previously dismissed as unlikely but now being debated—deterrence calculations could become more complicated, making the situation more dangerous. An unconstrained North Korea, coupled with a more assertive China, could further destabilize Northeast Asian security.

As we wrote last year and re-emphasize now, any belief that the threat of nuclear war has been vanquished is a mirage.

An insufficient response to an increasingly threatened climate

In the past year, some countries have taken action to combat climate change, but others—including the United States, which formalized its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, and Brazil, which dismantled policies that had protected the Amazon rainforest—have taken major steps backward. The highly anticipated UN Climate Action Summit in September fell far short of Secretary General António Guterres’ request that countries come not with “beautiful speeches, but with concrete plans.” The 60 or so countries that have committed (in more or less vague terms) to net zero emissions of carbon dioxide account for just 11 percent of global emissions. The UN climate conference in Madrid similarly disappointed. The countries involved in negotiations there barely reached an agreement, and the result was little more than a weak nudge, asking countries to consider further curbing their emissions. The agreement made no advances in providing further support to poorer countries to cut emissions and deal with increasingly damaging climate impacts.

Lip service continued, with some governments now echoing many scientists’ use of the term “climate emergency.” But the policies and actions that governments proposed were hardly commensurate to an emergency. Exploration and exploitation of fossil fuels continues to grow. A recent UN report finds that global governmental support and private sector investment have put fossil fuels on course to be over-produced at more than twice the level needed to meet the emissions-reduction goals set out in Paris.

Unsurprisingly, these continuing trends are reflected in our atmosphere and environment: Greenhouse gas emissions rose again over the past year, taking both annual emissions and atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to record highs. The world is heading in the opposite direction from the clear demands of climate science and plain arithmetic: Net carbon dioxide emissions need to go down to zero if the world is to stop the continuing buildup of greenhouse gases. World emissions are going in the wrong direction.

The consequences of climate change in the lives of people around the world have been striking and tragic. India was ravaged in 2019 both by record-breaking heat waves and record-breaking floods, each taking a heavy toll on human lives. Wildfires from the Arctic to Australia, and many regions in between, have erupted with a frequency, intensity, extent, and duration that further degrade ecosystems and endanger people. It is not good news when wildfires spring up simultaneously in both the northern and southern hemispheres, making the notion of a limited “fire season” increasingly a thing of the past.

The dramatic effects of a changing climate, alongside the glacial progress of government responses, have unsurprisingly led to rising concern and anger among growing numbers of people. Climate change has catalyzed a wave of youth engagement, activism, and protest that seems akin to the mobilization triggered by nuclear disaster and nuclear weapons fears in the 1970s and 1980s. Politicians are taking notice, and, in some cases, starting to propose policies scaled to the urgency and magnitude of the climate problem. We hope that public support for strong climate policies will continue to spread, corporations will accelerate their investments in low-carbon technologies, the price of renewable energy will continue to decline, and politicians will take action. We also hope that these developments will happen rapidly enough to lead to the major transformation that is needed to check climate change.

But the actions of many world leaders continue to increase global risk, at a time when the opposite is urgently needed.

The increased threat of information warfare and other disruptive technologies

Nuclear war and climate change are major threats to the physical world. But information is an essential aspect of human interaction, and threats to the information ecosphere—especially when coupled with the emergence of new destabilizing technologies in artificial intelligence, space, hypersonics, and biology—portend a dangerous and multifaceted global instability.

In recent years, national leaders have increasingly dismissed information with which they do not agree as fake news, promulgating their own untruths, exaggerations, and misrepresentations in response. Unfortunately, this trend accelerated in 2019. Leaders claimed their lies to be truth, calling into question the integrity of, and creating public distrust in, national institutions that have historically provided societal stability and cohesion.

In the United States, there is active political antagonism toward science and a growing sense of government-sanctioned disdain for expert opinion, creating fear and doubt regarding well-established science about climate change and other urgent challenges. Countries have long attempted to employ propaganda in service of their political agendas. Now, however, the internet provides widespread, inexpensive access to worldwide audiences, facilitating the broadcast of false and manipulative messages to large populations and enabling millions of individuals to indulge in their prejudices, biases, and ideological differences.

The recent emergence of so-called “deepfakes”—audio and video recordings that are essentially undetectable as false—threatens to further undermine the ability of citizens and decision makers to separate truth from fiction. The resulting falsehoods hold the potential to create economic, social, and military chaos, increasing the possibility of misunderstandings or provocations that could lead to war, and fomenting public confusion that leads to inaction on serious issues facing the planet. Agreement on facts is essential to democracy and effective collective action.

Other new technologies, including developments in biological engineering, high-speed (hypersonic) weapons, and space weapons, present further opportunities for disruption.

Genetic engineering and synthetic biology technologies are now increasingly affordable, readily available, and spreading rapidly. Globally, governments and companies are collecting vast amounts of health-related data, including genomic data, ostensibly for the purpose of improving healthcare and increasing profits. But the same data could also be useful in developing highly effective biological weapons, and disagreements regarding verification of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention continue to place the world at risk.

Artificial intelligence is progressing at a frenzied pace. In addition to the concern about marginally controlled AI development and its incorporation into weaponry that would make kill decisions without human supervision, AI is now being used in military command and control systems. Research and experience have demonstrated the vulnerability of these systems to hacking and manipulation. Given AI’s known shortcomings, it is crucial that the nuclear command and control system remain firmly in the hands of human decision makers.

There is increasing investment in and deployment of hypersonic weapons that will severely limit response times available to targeted nations and create a dangerous degree of ambiguity and uncertainty, at least in part because of their likely ability to carry either nuclear or conventional warheads. This uncertainty could lead to rapid escalation of military conflicts. At a minimum, these weapons are highly destabilizing and presage a new arms race.

Meanwhile, space has become a new arena for weapons development, with multiple countries testing and deploying kinetic, laser, and radiofrequency anti-satellite capabilities, and the United States creating a new military service, the Space Force.

The overall global trend is toward complex, high-tech, highly automated, high-speed warfare. The computerized and increasingly AI-assisted nature of militaries, the sophistication of their weapons, and the new, more aggressive military doctrines asserted by the most heavily armed countries could result in global catastrophe.

How the world should respond

To say the world is nearer to doomsday today than during the Cold War—when the United States and Soviet Union had tens of thousands more nuclear weapons than they now possess—is to make a profound assertion that demands serious explanation. After much deliberation, the members of the Science and Security Board have concluded that the complex technological threats the world faces are at least as dangerous today as they were last year and the year before, when we set the Clock at two minutes to midnight (as close as it had ever been, and the same setting that was announced in 1953, after the United States and the Soviet Union tested their first thermonuclear weapons).

But this year, we move the Clock 20 seconds closer to midnight not just because trends in our major areas of concern—nuclear weapons and climate change—have failed to improve significantly over the last two years. We move the Clock toward midnight because the means by which political leaders had previously managed these potentially civilization-ending dangers are themselves being dismantled or undermined, without a realistic effort to replace them with new or better management regimes. In effect, the international political infrastructure for controlling existential risk is degrading, leaving the world in a situation of high and rising threat. Global leaders are not responding appropriately to reduce this threat level and counteract the hollowing-out of international political institutions, negotiations, and agreements that aim to contain it. The result is a heightened and growing risk of disaster.

To be sure, some of these negative trends have been long in development. That they could be seen coming miles in the distance but still were allowed to occur is not just disheartening but also a sign of fundamental dysfunction in the world’s efforts to manage and reduce existential risk.

Last year, we called the extremely troubling state of world security an untenable “new abnormal.”

“In this extraordinarily dangerous state of affairs, nuclear war and climate change pose severe threats to humanity, yet go largely unaddressed,” we wrote. “Meanwhile, the use of cyber-enabled information warfare by countries, leaders, and subnational groups of many stripes around the world exacerbates these enormous threats and endangers the information ecosystem that underpins democracy and civilization as we know it. At the same time, other disruptive technologies complicate and further darken the world security situation.”

This dangerous situation remains—and continues to deteriorate. Compounding the nuclear, climate, and information warfare threats, the world’s institutional and political capacity for dealing with these threats and reducing the possibility of civilization-scale catastrophe has been diminished. Because of the worldwide governmental trend toward dysfunction in dealing with global threats, we feel compelled to move the Doomsday Clock forward. The need for emergency action is urgent.

There are many practical, concrete steps that leaders could take—and citizens should demand—to improve the current, absolutely unacceptable state of world security affairs. Among them:

US and Russian leaders can return to the negotiating table to: reinstate the INF Treaty or take other action to restrain an unnecessary arms race in medium-range missiles; extend the limits of New START beyond 2021; seek further reductions in nuclear arms; discuss a lowering of the alert status of the nuclear arsenals of both countries; limit nuclear modernization programs that threaten to create a new nuclear arms race; and start talks on cyber warfare, missile defenses, the militarization of space, hypersonic technology, and the elimination of battlefield nuclear weapons.
The countries of the world should publicly rededicate themselves to the temperature goal of the Paris climate agreement, which is restricting warming “well below” 2 degrees Celsius higher than the preindustrial level. That goal is consistent with consensus views on climate science, and, notwithstanding the inadequate climate action to date, it may well remain within reach if major changes in the worldwide energy system and land use are undertaken promptly. If that goal is to be attained, industrialized countries will need to curb emissions rapidly, going beyond their initial, inadequate pledges and supporting developing countries so they can leapfrog the entrenched, fossil fuel-intensive patterns previously pursued by industrialized countries.
US citizens should demand climate action from their government. Climate change is a serious and worsening threat to humanity. Citizens should insist that their government acknowledge it and act accordingly. President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate change agreement was a dire mistake. Whoever wins the 2020 US presidential election should reverse that decision.
The United States and other signatories of the Iran nuclear deal can work together to restrain nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. Iran is poised to violate key thresholds of the deal. Whoever wins the United States’ 2020 presidential election must prioritize dealing with this problem, whether through a return to the original nuclear agreement or via negotiation of a new and broader accord.
The international community should begin multilateral discussions aimed at establishing norms of behavior, both domestic and international, that discourage and penalize the misuse of science. Science provides the world’s searchlight in times of fog and confusion. Furthermore, focused attention is needed to prevent information technology from undermining public trust in political institutions, in the media, and in the existence of objective reality itself. Cyber-enabled information warfare is a threat to the common good. Deception campaigns—and leaders intent on blurring the line between fact and politically motivated fantasy—are a profound threat to effective democracies, reducing their ability to address nuclear weapons, climate change, and other existential dangers.
The global security situation is unsustainable and extremely dangerous, but that situation can be improved, if leaders seek change and citizens demand it. There is no reason the Doomsday Clock cannot move away from midnight. It has done so in the past when wise leaders acted, under pressure from informed and engaged citizens around the world. We believe that mass civic engagement will be necessary to compel the change the world needs.

Citizens around the world have the power to unmask social media disinformation and improve the long-term prospects of their children and grandchildren. They can insist on facts, and discount nonsense. They can demand—through public protest, at the ballot box, and in many other creative ways—that their leaders take immediate steps to reduce the existential threats of nuclear war and climate change. It is now 100 seconds to midnight, the most dangerous situation that humanity has ever faced. Now is the time to unite—and act.

Statement from the President and CEO


Inside the two-minute warning

In the year 2020, several important anniversaries should cause us all to assess progress, or lack thereof, toward a safer and more secure planet. April marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, established to advocate for a healthy and sustainable environment. On the first Earth Day—April 22, 1970—20 million Americans, almost 10 percent of the US population, took to the streets to advocate for more sustainable practices. May 2020 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), a landmark agreement that became the bedrock for global efforts at nuclear arms control. July and August 2020 will also mark the 75th anniversary of the testing and then the use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first and only time such weapons have been brandished as an instrument of war. Efforts to curb their use have been on-going ever since.

The past 75 years have seen the risks of nuclear war reach startling heights that have included the United States and Soviet Union testing hydrogen bombs; multiple moments when by either accident or design a nuclear exchange between the great powers seemed possible if not probable; an increasing number of states obtaining nuclear weapons; and most recently North Korean and American leaders exchanging childish name calling and not-so-childish nuclear threats. On the climate side, the past 50 years have resulted in a growing consensus that humans are dangerously disrupting their environment. As early as 1978, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists asked the question “Is mankind warming the earth?” with a cover story that answered “Yes.”

But just as humanity has come perilously close to obliterating itself, it has also experienced moments of exquisite forethought, well-planned efforts to protect the planet accomplished by determined people. Political leaders were able to cut the number of total nuclear warheads significantly, and undertake a series of confidence-building measures that reduced the likelihood of nuclear war. In 2016, another optimistic moment appeared: Countries from around the world began charting paths toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and investing in bridges to a cleaner future by adopting the Paris agreement, which builds on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process.

The Bulletin’s Science and Security Board convened in Chicago in November 2019 with a keen recognition of this year’s historic anniversaries. What follows is an acknowledgment that we live in troubling times, with the risk of nuclear accident seemingly growing by the day as the time available to responsibly stem the climate crisis shrinks just as quickly. For these reasons, and others spelled out in the pages that follow, the time on the Doomsday Clock continues to tick ever closer to midnight.

As seasoned watchers know, the Doomsday Clock did not move in 2019.  But the Clock’s minute hand was set forward in January 2018 by 30 seconds, to two minutes before midnight, the closest it had been to midnight since 1953 in the early years of the Cold War. Previously, the Clock was moved from three minutes to midnight to two and a half minutes to midnight in January 2017. This year, the Science and Security Board moved the time from two minutes to 100 seconds to midnight, a decision taken in full recognition of its historic nature. You will see in the following statement the articulation of why board members reset the clock, and what they suggest leaders and citizens around the world do to eventually begin moving it away from midnight.

US sports terminology provides an analogy for the current moment. As fans who watch it know, American football incorporates a two-minute warning, a break at the end of each half that differentiates the last two minutes from all that came before. Decisions are made with different strategic reference points, and expectations are raised for decisive action. The last two minutes bring newfound vigilance and focus to participants and viewers alike.  Every second matters.

As far as the Bulletin and the Doomsday Clock are concerned, the world has entered into the realm of the two-minute warning, a period when danger is high and the margin for error low. The moment demands attention and new, creative responses. If decision makers continue to fail to act—pretending that being inside two minutes is no more urgent than the preceding period—citizens around the world should rightfully echo the words of climate activist Greta Thunberg and ask: “How dare you?”

Public engagement and civic action are needed and needed urgently. Science and technology can bring enormous benefits, but without constant vigilance, they bring enormous risks as well. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is grateful to our supporters, who allow us to carry on our important work and share it with our growing global audience. More people came to the Bulletin’s website in 2019 than any year prior, and our magazine continues to be read and downloaded by followers around the world. The resurgent interest in issues of nuclear risk, climate change, and other disruptive technologies, especially among those 35 years and younger, shows that young people are hardly apathetic to the deteriorating environment in which we now operate. Rather, it shows that tomorrow’s leaders are seeking new images, messages, policies, and approaches and no longer assume that today’s leaders will keep them safe and secure.

I thank the members of the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board for once again taking seriously their responsibility for setting the Doomsday Clock and producing this statement to explain their decision. John Mecklin, the Bulletin’s editor-in-chief and the writer of this report, ensured that it offers the strongest possible articulation of the ideas and approaches that were discussed among the Board’s expert membership. None of this would have been possible without the support of foundations, corporations and individuals who contribute to the Bulletin year in and year out. For a full listing of our financial supporters, please see our annual report on our website at the thebulletin.org.

In addition to the anniversaries listed above, December 2020 also marks the 75th anniversary of the first edition of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, initially a six-page, black-and-white bulletin and later a magazine, created in anticipation that “the atom bomb would be on the first of many dangerous presents from Pandora’s box of modern science.” Over the years, we’ve published debates and recommendations that have laid the foundation for turning the hands of the Doomsday Clock away from midnight. We have done it before, which means we can certainly do it again. In 2020, however, world leaders have less time before midnight in which to make their decisions, and the need to take urgent action to reduce the risk of nuclear war and climate change is great. Please continue to petition your leaders to act now, and as if their lives depend upon it. Because theirs—and ours—most certainly do.

Rachel Bronson, PhD
President & CEO
January 23, 2020
Chicago, IL
« Last Edit: Today at 03:56:43 AM by Surly1 »
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

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“Shit-Life Syndrome,” Trump Voters, and Clueless Dems
« Reply #4083 on: Today at 04:15:49 AM »
“Shit-Life Syndrome,” Trump Voters, and Clueless Dems

Photograph Source: Frank Boston – CC BY 2.0

Getting rid of Trump means taking seriously “shit-life syndrome”—and its resulting misery, which includes suicide, drug overdose death, and trauma for surviving communities.

My state of Ohio is home to many shit-life syndrome sufferers. In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton lost Ohio’s 18 electoral votes to Trump. She got clobbered by over 400,000 votes (more than 8%). She lost 80 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Trump won rural poorer counties, several by whopping margins. Trump got the shit-life syndrome vote.

Will Hutton in his 2018 Guardian piece, “The Bad News is We’re Dying Early in Britain – and It’s All Down to ‘Shit-Life Syndrome’” describes shit-life syndrome in both Britain and the United States: “Poor working-age Americans of all races are locked in a cycle of poverty and neglect, amid wider affluence. They are ill educated and ill trained. The jobs available are drudge work paying the minimum wage, with minimal or no job security.”

The Brookings Institution, in November 2019, reported: “53 million Americans between the ages of 18 to 64—accounting for 44% of all workers—qualify as ‘low-wage.’ Their median hourly wages are $10.22, and median annual earnings are about $18,000.”

For most of these low-wage workers, Hutton notes: “Finding meaning in life is close to impossible; the struggle to survive commands all intellectual and emotional resources. Yet turn on the TV or visit a middle-class shopping mall and a very different and unattainable world presents itself. Knowing that you are valueless, you resort to drugs, antidepressants and booze. You eat junk food and watch your ill-treated body balloon. It is not just poverty, but growing relative poverty in an era of rising inequality, with all its psychological side-effects, that is the killer.”

Shit-life syndrome is not another fictitious illness conjured up by the psychiatric-pharmaceutical industrial complex to sell psychotropic drugs. It is a reality created by corporatist rulers and their lackey politicians—pretending to care about their minimum-wage-slave constituents, who are trying to survive on 99¢ boxed macaroni and cheese prepared in carcinogenic water, courtesy of DuPont or some other such low-life leviathan.

The Cincinnati Enquirer, in November 2019, ran the story: “Suicide Rate Up 45% in Ohio in Last 11 Years, With a Sharper Spike among the Young.” In Ohio between 2007 and 2018, the rate of suicide among people 10 to 24 has risen by 56%. The Ohio Department of Health reported that suicide is the leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 10‐14 and the second leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 15‐34, with the suicide rate higher in poorer, rural counties.

Overall in the United States, “Suicides have increased most sharply in rural communities, where loss of farming and manufacturing jobs has led to economic declines over the past quarter century,” reports the American Psychological Association. The U.S. suicide rate has risen 33% from 1999 through 2017 (from 10.5 to 14 suicides per 100,000 people).

In addition to an increasing rate of suicide, drug overdose deaths rose in the United States from 16,849 in 1999 to 70,237 in 2017, more sharply increasing in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that opioids—mainly synthetic opioids—were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 (67.8% of all drug overdose deaths).

Among all states in 2017, Ohio had the second highest rate of drug overdose death (46.3 per 100,000). West Virginia had the highest rate (57.8 per 100,000).

“In 2016, Donald Trump captured 68 percent of the vote in West Virginia, a state hit hard by opioid overdoses,” begins the 2018 NPR story: “Analysis Finds Geographic Overlap In Opioid Use And Trump Support In 2016.”

The NPR story was about a study published in JAMA Network Open titled “Association of Chronic Opioid Use With Presidential Voting Patterns in US Counties in 2016,” lead authored by physician James Goodwin. In counties with high rates of opioid use, Trump received 60% of the vote; but Trump received only 39% of the vote in counties with low opioid use. Opioid use is prevalent in poor rural counties, as Goodwin reports in his study: “Approximately two-thirds of the association between opioid rates and presidential voting was explained by socioeconomic variables.”

Goodwin told NPR: “It very well may be that if you’re in a county that is dissolving because of opioids, you’re looking around and you’re seeing ruin. That can lead to a sense of despair . . . . You want something different. You want radical change.”

Shit-life syndrome sufferers are looking for immediate change, and are receptive to unconventional politicians.

In 2016, Trump understood that being unconventional, including unconventional obnoxiousness, can help ratings. So he began his campaign with unconventional serial humiliations of his fellow Republican candidates to get the nomination; and since then, his unconventionality has been limited only by his lack of creativity—relying mostly on the Roy Cohn modeled “Punch them harder than they punch you” for anyone who disagrees with him.

I talked to Trump voters in 2016, and many of them felt that Trump was not a nice person, even a jerk, but their fantasy was that he was one of those rich guys with a big ego who needed to be a hero. Progressives who merely mock this way of thinking rather than create a strategy to deal with it are going to get four more years of Trump.

The Dems’ problem in getting the shit-life syndrome vote in 2020 is that none of their potential nominees for president are unconventional. In 2016, Bernie Sanders achieved some degree of unconventionality. His young Sandernistas loved the idea of a curmudgeon grandfather/eccentric uncle who boldly proclaimed in Brooklynese that he was a “socialist,” and his fans marveled that he was no loser, having in fact charmed Vermonters into electing him to the U.S. Senate. Moreover, during the 2016 primaries, there were folks here in Ohio who ultimately voted for Trump but who told me that they liked Bernie—both Sanders and Trump appeared unconventional to them.

While Bernie still has fans in 2020, he has done major damage to his “unconventionality brand.” By backing Hillary Clinton in 2016, he resembled every other cowardly politician. I felt sorry for his Sandernistas, heartbroken after their hero Bernie—who for most of his political life had self-identified as an “independent” and a “socialist”—became a compliant team player for the corporatist Blue Team that he had spent a career claiming independence from. If Bernie was terrified in 2016 of risking Ralph Nader’s fate of ostracism for defying the corporatist Blue Team, would he really risk assassination for defying the rich bastards who own the United States?

So in 2020, this leaves realistic Dems with one strategy. While the Dems cannot provide a candidate who can viscerally connect with shit-life syndrome sufferers, the Dems can show these victims that they have been used and betrayed by Trump.

Here in Ohio in counties dominated by shit-life syndrome, the Dems would be wise not to focus on their candidate but instead pour money into negative advertising, shaming Trump for making promises that he knew he wouldn’t deliver on: Hillary has not been prosecuted; Mexico has paid for no wall; great manufacturing jobs are not going to Ohioans; and most importantly, in their communities, there are now even more suicides, drug overdose deaths, and grieving families.

You would think a Hollywood Dem could viscerally communicate in 30 seconds: “You fantasized that this braggart would be your hero, but you discovered he’s just another rich asshole politician out for himself.” This strategy will not necessarily get Dems the shit-life syndrome vote, but will increase the likelihood that these folks stay home on Election Day and not vote for Trump.

The question is just how clueless are the Dems? Will they convince themselves that shit-life syndrome sufferers give a shit about Trump’s impeachment? Will they convince themselves that Biden, Buttigieg, Bloomberg or Warren are so wonderful that shit-life syndrome sufferers will take them and their campaign promises seriously? Then Trump probably wins again, thanks to both shit-life syndrome and shit-Dems syndrome.

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

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Re: “Shit-Life Syndrome,” Trump Voters, and Clueless Dems
« Reply #4084 on: Today at 11:35:09 AM »
“Shit-Life Syndrome,” Trump Voters, and Clueless Dems

<figure class="clear"><img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-118182" src="https://uziiw38pmyg1ai60732c4011-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/dropzone/2020/01/35856745925_78a4e0b631_c.jpg" alt="" width="560" height="374" srcset="https://uziiw38pmyg1ai60732c4011-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/dropzone/2020/01/35856745925_78a4e0b631_c.jpg 799w, https://uziiw38pmyg1ai60732c4011-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/dropzone/2020/01/35856745925_78a4e0b631_c-510x340.jpg 510w, https://uziiw38pmyg1ai60732c4011-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/dropzone/2020/01/35856745925_78a4e0b631_c-768x512.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 560px) 100vw, 560px" />
<p>Photograph Source: Frank Boston – CC BY 2.0</p>
</figure>
<p>Getting rid of Trump means taking seriously “shit-life syndrome”—and its resulting misery, which includes suicide, drug overdose death, and trauma for surviving communities.</p>
<p>My state of Ohio is home to many shit-life syndrome sufferers. In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton lost Ohio’s 18 electoral votes to Trump. She got clobbered by over 400,000 votes (more than 8%). She lost 80 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Trump won rural poorer counties, several by whopping margins. Trump got the shit-life syndrome vote.</p>
<p>Will Hutton in his 2018 Guardian piece, “The Bad News is We’re Dying Early in Britain – and It’s All Down to ‘Shit-Life Syndrome’” describes shit-life syndrome in both Britain and the United States: “Poor working-age Americans of all races are locked in a cycle of poverty and neglect, amid wider affluence. They are ill educated and ill trained. The jobs available are drudge work paying the minimum wage, with minimal or no job security.”</p>
<p>The Brookings Institution, in November 2019, reported: “53 million Americans between the ages of 18 to 64—accounting for 44% of all workers—qualify as ‘low-wage.’ Their median hourly wages are $10.22, and median annual earnings are about $18,000.”</p>
<p>For most of these low-wage workers, Hutton notes: “Finding meaning in life is close to impossible; the struggle to survive commands all intellectual and emotional resources. Yet turn on the TV or visit a middle-class shopping mall and a very different and unattainable world presents itself. Knowing that you are valueless, you resort to drugs, antidepressants and booze. You eat junk food and watch your ill-treated body balloon. It is not just poverty, but growing relative poverty in an era of rising inequality, with all its psychological side-effects, that is the killer.”</p>
<p>Shit-life syndrome is not another fictitious illness conjured up by the psychiatric-pharmaceutical industrial complex to sell psychotropic drugs. It is a reality created by corporatist rulers and their lackey politicians—pretending to care about their minimum-wage-slave constituents, who are trying to survive on 99¢ boxed macaroni and cheese prepared in carcinogenic water, courtesy of DuPont or some other such low-life leviathan.</p>
<p>The Cincinnati Enquirer, in November 2019, ran the story: “Suicide Rate Up 45% in Ohio in Last 11 Years, With a Sharper Spike among the Young.” In Ohio between 2007 and 2018, the rate of suicide among people 10 to 24 has risen by 56%. The Ohio Department of Health <a href="https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/wcm/connect/gov/fef3e5ee-b4c6-4e2e-a0b1-40c68e123f9f/2018_Suicide_Fact_Sheet.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CONVERT_TO=url&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_M1HGGIK0N0JO00QO9DDDDM3000-fef3e5ee-b4c6-4e2e-a0b1-40c68e123f9f-mVCbMqs" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reported[/url] that suicide is the leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 10‐14 and the second leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 15‐34, with the suicide rate higher in poorer, rural counties.</p>
<p>Overall in the United States, “Suicides have increased most sharply in rural communities, where loss of farming and manufacturing jobs has led to economic declines over the past quarter century,” reports the American Psychological Association. The U.S. suicide rate has risen 33% from 1999 through 2017 (from 10.5 to 14 suicides per 100,000 people).</p>
<p>In addition to an increasing rate of suicide, drug overdose deaths rose in the United States from 16,849 in 1999 to 70,237 in 2017, more sharply increasing in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that opioids—mainly synthetic opioids—were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 (67.8% of all drug overdose deaths).</p>
<p>Among all states in 2017, Ohio had the second highest rate of drug overdose death (46.3 per 100,000). West Virginia had the highest rate (57.8 per 100,000).</p>
<p>“In 2016, Donald Trump captured 68 percent of the vote in West Virginia, a state hit hard by opioid overdoses,” begins the 2018 NPR story: “Analysis Finds Geographic Overlap In Opioid Use And Trump Support In 2016.”</p>
<p>The NPR story was about a study published in JAMA Network Open titled “Association of Chronic Opioid Use With Presidential Voting Patterns in US Counties in 2016,” lead authored by physician James Goodwin. In counties with high rates of opioid use, Trump received 60% of the vote; but Trump received only 39% of the vote in counties with low opioid use. Opioid use is prevalent in poor rural counties, as Goodwin reports in his study: “Approximately two-thirds of the association between opioid rates and presidential voting was explained by socioeconomic variables.”</p>
<p>Goodwin told NPR: “It very well may be that if you’re in a county that is dissolving because of opioids, you’re looking around and you’re seeing ruin. That can lead to a sense of despair . . . . You want something different. You want radical change.”</p>
<p>Shit-life syndrome sufferers are looking for immediate change, and are receptive to unconventional politicians.</p>
<p>In 2016, Trump understood that being unconventional, including unconventional obnoxiousness, can help ratings. So he began his campaign with unconventional serial humiliations of his fellow Republican candidates to get the nomination; and since then, his unconventionality has been limited only by his lack of creativity—relying mostly on the Roy Cohn modeled “Punch them harder than they punch you” for anyone who disagrees with him.</p>
<p>I talked to Trump voters in 2016, and many of them felt that Trump was not a nice person, even a jerk, but their fantasy was that he was one of those rich guys with a big ego who needed to be a hero. Progressives who merely mock this way of thinking rather than create a strategy to deal with it are going to get four more years of Trump.</p>
<p>The Dems’ problem in getting the shit-life syndrome vote in 2020 is that none of their potential nominees for president are unconventional. In 2016, Bernie Sanders achieved some degree of unconventionality. His young Sandernistas loved the idea of a curmudgeon grandfather/eccentric uncle who boldly proclaimed in Brooklynese that he was a “socialist,” and his fans marveled that he was no loser, having in fact charmed Vermonters into electing him to the U.S. Senate. Moreover, during the 2016 primaries, there were folks here in Ohio who ultimately voted for Trump but who told me that they liked Bernie—both Sanders and Trump appeared unconventional to them.</p>
<p>While Bernie still has fans in 2020, he has done major damage to his “unconventionality brand.” By backing Hillary Clinton in 2016, he resembled every other cowardly politician. I felt sorry for his Sandernistas, heartbroken after their hero Bernie—who for most of his political life had self-identified as an “independent” and a “socialist”—became a compliant team player for the corporatist Blue Team that he had spent a career claiming independence from. If Bernie was terrified in 2016 of risking Ralph Nader’s fate of ostracism for defying the corporatist Blue Team, would he really risk assassination for defying the rich bastards who own the United States?</p>
<p>So in 2020, this leaves realistic Dems with one strategy. While the Dems cannot provide a candidate who can viscerally connect with shit-life syndrome sufferers, the Dems can show these victims that they have been used and betrayed by Trump.</p>
<p>Here in Ohio in counties dominated by shit-life syndrome, the Dems would be wise not to focus on their candidate but instead pour money into negative advertising, shaming Trump for making promises that he knew he wouldn’t deliver on: Hillary has not been prosecuted; Mexico has paid for no wall; great manufacturing jobs are not going to Ohioans; and most importantly, in their communities, there are now even more suicides, drug overdose deaths, and grieving families.</p>
<p>You would think a Hollywood Dem could viscerally communicate in 30 seconds: “You fantasized that this braggart would be your hero, but you discovered he’s just another rich asshole politician out for himself.” This strategy will not necessarily get Dems the shit-life syndrome vote, but will increase the likelihood that these folks stay home on Election Day and not vote for Trump.</p>
<p>The question is just how clueless are the Dems? Will they convince themselves that shit-life syndrome sufferers give a shit about Trump’s impeachment? Will they convince themselves that Biden, Buttigieg, Bloomberg or Warren are so wonderful that shit-life syndrome sufferers will take them and their campaign promises seriously? Then Trump probably wins again, thanks to both shit-life syndrome and shit-Dems syndrome.</p>

It sounds like a persuasive narrative, but there is a whole lot to unpack here.

I totally buy the part about poor education and no skills. And the cognitive dissonance part, where it might seem like everybody else's life is like the fake families on TV, and yours is an episode that was too gritty for Jerry Springer (don't forget he was once an Ohio politician, before he made it big).

Americans, in the bottom half, don't put much value in education, as far as I can see. Public schools in low income communities aren't great, but we do offer something, and it's  free, and it's a stepping stone for anyone who wants more. American history is also full of autodidacts who educated themselves, sometimes at great sacrifice.

16.5 % of young Ohioans can't even seem to make it through free high school. That's near the national average, fwiw.

I've got my ideas about this shit-life problem.

One thing I'd like to mention is that kids don't do a very good job of raising themselves. 34% of kids in Ohio grow up in a single parent family. For black kids its 75%.

Kids get raised by the TV and now the cell phone.....not a lot of great modeling going on. It does create (I think anyway) a tendency toward passivity.

All these shit-life people are following a really bad passive path from the day they'e born.....and there isn't much to keep them from following it right down the shitter.

It's very possible that really poor people could adapt communal styles of living that encourage them to take care of each other and do a better job of sheltering  and provide better for their kids.....we saw how this can work with Occupy, right?  It's true that the government is scared shitless of people who organize to help themselves......but I don't see too many people trying to do it anyway.

Frankly there was a time when poor people had even less than they do now, but lived better, and most of them managed to live without opiates, which were available, and even legal.

It's the disintegration of the family that's at the heart of this.

And....here is no situation so bad that people have no better alternative than black market pharmaceuticals. That comes out of living is  a spiritual vacuum....... and from personal weakness.

There is a strong suggestion in this article that the government should solve this problem, that it wouldn't exist if somehow the corporate companies would just raise pay to some fair level and people who are only qualified to operate a shovel or a vacuum cleaner could be given middle-class wages.

We....you and I....know that isn't about to happen. I'm not sure what a "living wage" even is, in terms of an amount? Twenty bucks an hour and regular raises to keep up with inflation?

Thirty bucks?

You see a solution through changing to a more equitable socialists approach. I see that as being full of unforeseen consequences . I don't think the people who are trapped in a cycle of poverty like this article discusses are apt to thrive in any system.

I'm okay with a country where big money doesn't control the political process. The system we have now is fucked-up. But it's also EXTREMELY entrenched, and even functional, for those in charge of things.

I could be a junkie. You could be a junkie. Drugs that are as addictive as opiates are.......have taken down plenty of people who started out rich....not just the poor.

Individuals really still have to take responsibility for their own lives. For figuring out a way to somehow scratch out a living. I never said it's easy, and some people do have the deck stacked against them. But I don't think you can fix this from the top down.

It's an easier road to a dead-end labor job and a needle and a spoon, or the bottle, As long as people follow the path of least resistance on their path through life, they'll keep ending up broke and sick and dying young from self-induced misery, and in jail.

Do these people help or hurt our political process by voting for a guy like Trump? We both know the answer.

If the Democrats field a radical candidate that brings in the vote of the dumbest, most passive, least-informed, most willing to believe fake news....the easiest people to manipulate with false narratives........that promise more than they can deliver.....how does that fix anything?

When the Clintons and Obama tried to mildly socialize healthcare, it was precisely these same idiot level voters who were (and mostly still are) opposed to it.

Because Big Insurance was able to persuade them to vote against their own interests using the new generation of Bernaysians, like Cambridge Analytica.

Dumb people are a problem. And we are overwhelmingly a nation of dumb people.





« Last Edit: Today at 11:39:34 AM by Eddie »
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