Death and Violence in America

W.J. Astore

It’s staggering the number of people dying in America in ways that are preventable. Here’s a quick summary, courtesy of Blake Fleetwood at Scheerpost:

  • Gun deaths are at record levels, up 45% from the previous decade. In 2020 there were a total of 45,222 firearm deaths in the US.
  • Suicide rates have gone up more than 30% in the last 20 years. More than 1.4 million adults attempt suicide every year in America. And 45,979 succeeded in killing themselves in 2020. The highest rate of suicide is among middle class white men.  Suicides rose to the highest in the central part of the country. In 2020, 54% of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition. 
  • Health risks for adolescents have shifted from pregnancy, alcohol, and drug use to depression, suicide, and self harm.
  • Drug overdose data from the CDC indicates that there were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States during the 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before.

When you start adding these numbers, you reach a grim conclusion: Americans are killing themselves and others at record rates. Grimmer still are the numbers from the Covid-19 pandemic, which in the U.S. has killed more than a million people. Estimates suggest that a true national health care system could have reduced this number by 300,000 (!), but there’s no interest among Democrats or Republicans to create such a system. Our politicians, corrupted by money from the health care “industry,” Big Pharma, etc., have no interest in saving lives (or even saving money, since a national health care system would save trillions over time).

Is it any wonder why the U.S. government embraces violence with such zeal? If you can’t care for your own people, why should you care at all for other peoples, such as in Yemen or Ukraine? What matters is profit from selling weapons, whether in the U.S., awash in assault rifles and other guns, or overseas with massive arms sales or shipments to Saudi Arabia and Ukraine, among others.

Violence or the threat of violence can be enormously profitable to those who deal in it.

Last night, I was watching baseball and saw an advertisement for a new show. In one 30-second clip, I saw several assault rifles and a gun battle, with a few handguns thrown in for good measure. We are assaulted constantly by such imagery, so much so that gun violence is seen as “normal” because it has become our new normal. Hence the gruesome spike in mass shootings across America.

Way back in the early 1980s, I had a sticker that read “NRA Freedom.” Remarkably, “freedom” in America has become synonymous with having guns everywhere, more than 400 million of them. Other freedoms, such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly, are being curtailed and eroded with barely a complaint, but any attempt to make it slightly more difficult for a few people to buy guns is instantly opposed.

A culture of freedom is increasingly a cult of death. And as the Outlaw Josey Wales said, “Dyin’ ain’t much of a living.” Time to learn from Josey.

111 thoughts on “Death and Violence in America

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m so glad I escaped from the Divided States of America. I don’t understand how the American people can be so proud of their insanity. It is truly a death cult, a culture of death.

    Mieux j’apprends à connaître les hommes, plus je me mets à aimer les chiens. — Charles de Gaulle


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dr. Carl Sagan: ” An extraterrestrial being, newly arrived on Earth– scrutinizing what we mainly present to our children, on television, radio, movies, newspapers, magazines, the comics, many books– might easily conclude that we are intent on teaching them murder, rape, cruelty, superstition, credulity, and consumerism.” Yea, “Dying ain’t much of a livin boy” And.., this danger on the rocks won’t easily pass! This is just the calm before the storm. Unless…

    Liked by 3 people

      1. If I survive to 105 I’ll never for the life of me figure how, or why “Chief Dan George” didn’t get a Best Supporting Oscar for “Old Lodge Skins” in the Revisionist Western 1970’s. “Little Big Man” :/ :o)


        1. Philip, if you visit The Custer Battlefield Museum in the historic town Garryowen, MT, you will see many great old black and photographs of all the old Indian chiefs who all lived to at least 105-years old. All fit and thin in their advanced old age. Without the stresses of our modern live. Living off the land, and without modern drugs. I highly recommend that wonderful museum.


            1. Bill and Philip, there is also some great photographs of these old 100+ year old Indian chiefs and their tribes at the Crazy Horse Museum in South Dakota. It is humbling to see how successful these Indian civilizations were, and how little they demanded of the land – until we destroyed them all.

              Crazy Horse Memorial® is in the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota in the United States. The entrance along US Highway 16/385 (the Crazy Horse Memorial Highway) is 9 miles south of Hill City, SD and 4 miles north of Custer, SD. Crazy Horse Memorial® is 17 miles southwest of Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Dennis: I was “Living Indian” when I was Stationed in the Dakotas, SAC AF late 70’s. Fishing in N.D.– Minnesota too Horseback Riding, Camping, Worked a Dairy Farm for a short time after Separating from Active Duty, Western N.D. saw Mt. Rushmore, and even Camped in Teddy Roosevelt National Park! I could tell you some Stories…:o)

                Liked by 1 person

  3. And save the US $5.1-million in the process.
    And the US would no longer shamefully being the only country in the Free World without Universal Healthcare covering ALL its citizens

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m constantly amazed that you Americans don’t latch on to MEDICAREFORALL. It’s a no brainer.

      Eliminate 20,00 deaths per year of people without health Insurance – with the stroke of Sleepy Joe’s pen.

      It’s that damn socialism right! Can’t have that!

      BTW The great military that you so revere is the biggest socialist institution in the World. LOL

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The military is hardly socialist. It’s a hierarchy to its core. Some of its members live in gorgeous homes & some of its members live from paycheck to paycheck. They even have to buy their own gear. (Army Mom here).

        Liked by 2 people

        1. My dear, of course its socialist! Actually the ultimate form of socialism.
          Everybody works for the government.
          The government controls your life. At work and often afterhours.
          The government dictates where you and your kids live.
          The government provides you with everything.
          Your job, your pay, your education, your clothing(uniform), your housing, your supermarket, your healthcare, and your retirement.
          And I’m not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. And your own hotels – LOL
            The Hale Koa Hotel is a military only hotel in Honolulu, Waikiki Beach.
            And your golf courses. LOL


            1. Dang… Wish i’d known about that the last time i was in Hawai’i.

              The Hale Koa Hotel, which means “House of the Warrior” in Hawaiian, is an Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) resort hotel located on Waikiki Beach and owned by the United States Department of Defense. It sits on the southeast corner of Fort DeRussy on the western end of Waikiki in Honolulu. The hotel has more than one million guests every year, all of whom require the United States Uniformed Services Privilege and Identification Card to lodge at the hotel. THOUGH OWNED BY THE DOD, THE HOTEL IS ENTIRELY SELF-SUSTAINING, AND DOES NOT RECEIVE ANY GOVERNMENT FUNDING. [EMPHASIS added.]

              It’s a shame we don’t have more government-owned operations that are entirely self-sustaining and receive no government funding.

              And my bet is that 100% of the military’s golf courses are on military installations, and not separate entities like the Hale Koa.


              1. Since the DOD has never passed an audit we will never know if THE HOTEL IS ENTIRELY SELF-SUSTAINING, AND DOES NOT RECEIVE ANY GOVERNMENT FUNDING. They could be just bullshitting us.


                1. i’ll bet You a Month’s Pension Check, Dennis, that that Hotel has REGULAR Audits; and passes them just fine.

                  Individual organizations and units within the Department of Defense get audited, inspected, evaluated, and critiqued all the time. That is what Higher Headquarters do with and to subordinate operations.

                  The problem is that the DoD is not a subordinate organization to anybody, and, thus, is not subject to audits, inspections, etc,

                  That’s why the DoD never even had its FIRST frikking audit since its creation in 1947 70 years later in 2017.


              2. Yep, there are 234 (!) golf courses spread across the over 800+ U.S. military installations located around the globe. And if you believe these are entirely self sustaining, and do not receive any gubmint funding – how does the saying go? I’ve got a bridge to sell you……

                And another benefit provided by the socialized US military I have overlooked. Every former military service member is eligible for burial-specific or cremation-specific benefits. Any veteran who was not dishonorably discharged can receive, at no cost, a military detail of at least two people at his or her burial or memorial. So the benefits do not stop even if you are dead!


                1. If they are on a government installation, Dennis, of course they receive government funding. Duh.

                  And why don’t You take up Your complaint about Veterans getting burial services with the American people and see how many agree with You, be they from the Left, the Right, or the Muddled Middle?


            2. The best example of the US Military socialism is the VA.
              No private American company, not Apple, not GM, not Ford, nor Microsoft provides private hospitalization and doctors for no charge to their employees.
              The VA is 100% socialism.
              Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.


              1. And why do these military people get such extraordinary benefits? Because they serve the Nation you say. Well I served the Nation for 40-years building the Nations roads, bridges and ports. Army bases and Navy docks included. So why don’t I get these benefits? It’s BS. They risked getting killed you say. That’s BS as well – since only 10% of the US military sees front line combat. Google it.

                Only 20 years of service is generally required to receive military retirement pay. A person can retire from active duty at 37 years old! And many do and go into the private sector. And “double dip” in their retirement. Many military retirees receive both military retiree pay and VA disability compensation at the same time. Is this still true?

                OK anti-military rant over. If I have got it all wrong and offended anybody I need a severe beating around the genital area.


                1. Heh. So You spent forty years helping to “Make America Great,” Dennis, as a civilian contractor in America’s Military-Industrial Complex, eh? Is that correct?

                  Were You paid a salary and did You receive all the many different kinds of benefits [health care, life insurance, travel and moving allowances, life on an expense account, and so forth] that any civilian contractor working for the federal [or any other level of] government receives? All at US taxpayer expense?

                  And is 20 years of service sufficient to retire ONLY from jobs with the US government?

                  And people get VA disability compensation in addition to getting retiree pay because they have suffered some sort of Disability as a result of their military service. Had You been injured seriously enough to terminate Your being able to work, would the US taxpayer have been footing that bill, as well? Or had You developed a medical condition that You could prove in a court of law was caused by Your employment with an MIC contractor, would You be receiving any compensation?


              2. OK, enough. This isn’t what my site is for. Consider this strike 2. And we’re playing baseball.

                You both have each other’s emails. If you want to squabble, do it that way.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. Rog; i understand completely. But in my defense, i believe that my second strike was posted before You called the first one. i will do my best to avoid getting number three.


                2. @WJASTORE @JG MOEBUS
                  Bill I am feeling suitably chastised for my breaking the rules of the site in the last few days.
                  Again, please accept my apologies.


            1. Jeff, I am an advocate for a balance of socialism and…what is it…what the US has! LOL
              I am a proponent of Social Security and MEDICAREFORALL.
              And like all old fogies, I think a year in the Army learning military discipline would benefit all young kids.


              1. Heh. Interesting. So let me ask You some questions:

                What exactly is it that the US has that appeals to You besides SS and MFA?
                And which particular aspects of socialism that You mentioned do You like? All of them?
                Did You spend time in NZ’s military?

                And from this old fogey’s perspective, forcing anybody into a nation’s military against their will is no different than Involuntary Servitude, aka Slavery. Especially when there is a War to go fight, kill, and/or die in.


                1. @JG MOEBUS
                  Jeff, I spent 3-months as an 18-year old in the New Zealand Army as part of NZ’s now abandoned Compulsory Military Service Law.* That’s where I learned I probably would not fit in with the Army.

                  *In 1972, a Labour government, led by Norman Kirk, ended National Service, partly as a result of a campaign of civil disobedience and lobbying by the Organisation to Halt Military Service (OHMS, a pun on both resistance and “On Her Majesty’s Service”). LOL

                  You know the old wisdom:
                  A Republican is a Democrat who got mugged.
                  A Democrat is a Republican who lost her job.
                  A Libertarian is a republican who got out of bed one day, didn’t like what he saw, and went on a ten month pot rampage.

                  I guess if I had to choose, I’m one of the third type! Me, and Ron Paul agree on almost everything.

                  BTW my best friend in high school had a father who was a jailed WW2 Conscience Objector – that’s another very interesting story. But for another time.


                2. Heh. Earlier, You wrote: “I am an advocate for a balance of socialism and…what is it…what the US has! LOL
                  I am a proponent of Social Security and MEDICAREFORALL. And like all old fogies, I think a year in the Army learning military discipline would benefit all young kids.”

                  Besides these things which You and Ron Paul obviously DON’T agree upon, exactly what DO You two agree on?

                  You think Ron Paul is an advocate of balancing socialism with what the US has, eh? Which Ron Paul is that?


      2. Yes, that’s a good point. The military is hierarchical and authoritative. And as you climb up the ranks, the housing definitely improves. I’ve been on “generals’ row” at Bolling AFB in DC; some of those houses are really nice. Actually, I used to walk in the neighborhood; once I was stopped by Security Police and told I had to move along, i.e. I wasn’t authorized to walk among the houses of the colonels and generals (I was a 1LT at the time). You don’t forget stuff like that.

        But there is some socialism in the sense of government-provided health care for all, educational benefits, decent wages (based on your rank/grade), and wages that are equal for men and women, Black and white.

        I joke that in America, if you want a $15 minimum wage, “free” health care, and an affordable education, the answer is to join the military. These are valuable recruitment incentives, which is why we can’t give them to everyone, right? You have to “earn” them by putting on a uniform and signing away four (or more) years of your life.

        It’s all “voluntary” so quit your whining! 🙂


        1. Good thing when I was Air Police, Security Forces in the early/mid. 70’s. I’d Patrol my Brigadier Gen. (One Star’s.) home Overseas the biggest on Base on a ideal cul de sac once a Shift per Orders, and if I saw any Shifty, suspicious Butter Bar, or 1Lt’s. in the area I’d “Jack-Up” same…! And he’d approve. lol


          1. How true! I was riffraff.

            I think there was a little sign that I ignored. Something like “residents only” or “authorized personnel.” The funny thing is that I walked around and the few officers I saw outside their homes were friendly and waved.

            It was just another neighborhood — but not for rabble like me. Jack ’em up!


            1. Might as well go for the Full Spectrum ( US military parlance) anti-military rant while I am at it and get everybody mad at me!

              Convince me that the US Marines are not just an anachronism of bygone warfare. Like trench warfare, there is not going to be amphibian beach landings in future wars. Consign the Marines to the dustbins of history and let the Army eliminate this redundancy. Half the overhead.


              1. Maybe a whole nother topic eh Lt. Col…

                “We should transfer our personnel to another Service and don their uniform. It is better to wear proudly the uniform of another Service than to see the Globe and Anchor progressively defamed. As we know, the Marine Corps is not essential for national defense; it is an expression of pride and competence by a strong people. America is our home and the home of our families. There is still much here that is worth defending. By disbanding now we preserve more than a tradition of honor and service – we preserve a remnant of hope for a future generation.”



  4. Poverty leads to leads to drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and depression which leads to high suicide rates.
    A Universal Basic Income would eliminate 100% of poverty.
    But the Democrats threw Andrew Yang, and his UBI plan, under the bus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, but it’s not poverty alone. It’s culture. Relentless dog-eat-dog capitalism and the glorification of guns. If you’re impoverished in America, you’re told it’s your fault. That you’re a loser. Get a job! Or jobs!

      In the article I linked to, I learned the Uvalde shooter was making $7.25 an hour working at Wendy’s. How can anyone support themselves on such a low wage? Money isn’t just speech in America, it’s prestige. It’s equivalent to self-worth. Thus, if you’re not doing well, i.e. making money, if you’re out of work, society says you’re basically worthless.

      I wonder if the shooter goes on a rampage if he’s making a better living with a $15 fed. minimum wage? Would a higher wage have given him a higher sense of worth? A bit more hope for the future? We’ll never know, of course. But woefully underpaid people are increasingly pissed off people — with guns and ammo bought on credit that they often can’t afford.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WJA – Money is equivalent to self-worth.

        Wiki- In his 1964 State of the Union address, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced legislation to fight the “war on poverty”. Johnson believed in expanding the federal government’s roles in education and health care as poverty reduction strategies. In this political climate the idea of a guaranteed income for every American also took root. Notably, a document, signed by 1200 economists, called for a guaranteed income for every American. Six ambitious basic income experiments started up on the related concept of negative income tax. Succeeding President Richard Nixon explained its purpose as “to provide both a safety net for the poor and a financial incentive for welfare recipients to work.

        Milton Friedman, world right wing famous economist from the Chicago Scholl of Economics supported UBI by reasoning that it would help to reduce poverty. He said: “The virtue of a negative income tax (UBI) is precisely that it treats everyone the same way. There’s none of this unfortunate discrimination among people.

        According to Swiss economist Thomas Straubhaar, the concept of UBI is basically financeable without any problems. He describes it as “at its core, nothing more than a fundamental tax reform” that “bundles all social policy measures into a single instrument, the basic income paid out unconditionally.” He also considers a universal basic income to be socially just, arguing, although all citizens would receive the same amount in the form of the basic income at the beginning of the month, the rich would have lost significantly more money through taxes at the end of the month than they would have received through the basic income, while the opposite is the case for poorer people, similar to the concept of a progressive negative income tax.

        Andrew Yang had it right!

        Sadly, will never be enacted.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If a UBI is used to replace existing anti-poverty programs a prime loser from a UBI will be the bureaucracies that run the existing programs. All those government union jobs lost along with their political contributions! What horror! Which is one reason a UBI will never be enacted here. Of course if it’s an extension of existing programs it might have a chance.


          1. You are exactly right about UBI Alex.
            Too many gubmint workers in the many “welfare” offices will lose their jobs.
            They will fight this tooth and nail.


      2. This topic is so broad it’s difficult to get a handle on it so it becomes a starting point for people who have a specific agenda. People who are in favor of gun control will argue the gun aspect of it for instance. As a critic of mass media practices here’s my contribution. Local news shows always start with a report on local murders, if one is available. The news business calls this, “if it bleeds it leads”. The reports don’t give much information. The standard report is, for instance, “someone (we don’t know who yet) shot and killed someone (we don’t know who yet) on Main Street. There follows short interviews with people on the scene who say things like “yeah I was on the corner when this guy came up and shot the other guy. So I ducked behind the car.” Then the newscaster says, “this is a developing story” which gives them an opportunity to repeat it and add to it on a later broadcast.


  5. This goes back to the Question I’ve been asking myself for the last couple of years…:

    Given that the United States is:

    a Bankrupt Debtor State;
    an Imperialist Warfare State;
    a Redistributionist Welfare State;
    a Secrecy/Surveillance/Security/proto-Police State;
    an Oligarchic/Plutocratic Deep State;
    a Failing or at best Flailing State [as detailed in Your article, Colonel];
    an Overshoot State;

    And, perhaps most importantly,

    a People and Nation no longer merely “divided,” but fractured ~ even to the point of disintegration….

    Given all that, the Question is: #USA-CCL???; Or, Will America Survive To Celebrate Its 250th Birthday?


    1. The follow-on Questions are: Given those current “States” that the United States is in, 1. CAN it survive to celebrate that Birthday? 2. SHOULD it survive?

      And, if it does survive, will it be in any condition or mood to celebrate anything?


      1. “Many of us who have been researching collapse for a decade or more repeatedly use the word in writing, speaking, and daily conversation, but few of us have the opportunity to define it with such precision or personal experience as one finds in Dmitry Orlov’s book: (New Society Publishers, 281 pages).

        Most importantly, Dmitry Orlov leaves us with perhaps the most profound and pivotal sentence of the book: “Collapse is not a nightmare scenario to be avoided at all costs but part of the normal, unalterable ebb and flow of human history, and the widespread tendency to block it out of our worldview is, to put it very mildly, maladaptive.” The Five Stages of Collapse, I believe, is required reading for long-term, strategic collapse preparation”

        Have you read any of Dmitry’s diatribes Jeff?


        1. Thank You, Dennis. i have not read Mr Orlov’s book, but have added it to my List. At the moment, i am doing a syntopical reading of the following:

          THIS HAPPENED HERE: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America by Paul Street

          THE NEXT CIVIL WAR: Dispatches from the American Future by Stephen Marche

          THE BANKRUPTCY OF UNCLE SAM: Zeroing In On Bipartisan Fiscal Failure by Phillip D. Meyers

          HEADED INTO THE ABYSS: The Story of Our Time, and the Future We’ll Face by Brian Watson

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. Using men dressed for combat wearing the American flag and busting down doors to “bag” RINOs is perhaps a new low in political ads.

      Your neighbor is not your enemy, America! Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean you “bag and tag” them.

      Yes, maybe it’s slightly tongue-in-cheek; even if it is, it’s a horrible ad.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The interesting thing will be to see Missouri Voters deal with Mr Greitens in the August 22 GOP Primary. At last polling the first week in June, he had 26% of the vote out of 21 candidates. []

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ‘Explain It to Me, Please. If You Want a War with Iran, Russia, China and Venezuela, Tell Me Why and How It Would Benefit Americans?’

    So Honest Joe Biden is now going to give another $1.2 billion to the Ukrainians on top of the sixty or so billion that is already in the pipeline, but who’s counting, particularly as Congress refused to approve having an inspector general to monitor whose pockets will be lined. The money will be printed up without any collateral or “borrowed” and the American taxpayer will somehow have to bear the burden of this latest folly that is ipso facto driving much of the world into recession. And it will no doubt be blamed on Vladimir Putin, a process that is already well under way from president mumbles. But you have to wonder why no one has told Joe that the whole exercise in pushing much of the world towards a catastrophic war is a fool’s errand. But then again, the clowns that the president has surrounded himself with might not be very big on speaking the truth even if they know what that means.

    Having followed the Ukraine problem since the United States and its poodles refused to negotiate seriously with Vladimir Putin in the real world, I have had to wonder what is wrong with Washington. We have had the ignorant and impulsive Donald Trump supported by a cast of characters that included the mentally unstable Mike Pompeo and John Bolton followed by Biden with the usual bunch of Democratic Party rejects. By that I mean deep thinkers about social issues who would not be able to run a hot dog stand if that were what they were forced to do to make a living. But they are real good at shouting “freedom” and “democracy” whenever questioned concerning their motives………………………………………………………………..

    The US is the BIGGEST Arms Merchant in the History of Nations and Americans have been brainwashed to mirror that love of weapons, having more of them in private hands than any other Society on Earth.

    While US dominated NATO already has the evidence the ECONOMIC straitjacket it’s applying to make the ordinary Russian Citizen suffer is having a boomerang effect.
    The more US/NATO tightens the Economic straitjacket on Russia, the tighter it will be on the ordinary Citizens of the NATO Nations and especially in the US, the Leader.

    The leading indicators point to a long hot murderous Summer of American Carnage with so many guns in a land of WANT!


    1. Yes, you can’t eat a gun. Nor is happiness a warm gun. You can sell them for real money, though. But the attitude is “from my cold dead hands,” meaning the gun is like the one ring of power in “Lord of the Rings”: “My precious.”

      Liked by 1 person


    Number of American deaths in unnecessary Wars on Terror since 9/11.

    A new report on U.S. military deaths contains a stark statistic: An estimated 7,057 service members have died during military operations since 9/11, while suicides among active duty personnel and veterans of those conflicts have reached 30,177 — that’s more than four times as many.


  8. Delusion
    The US Government’s Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) holds a briefing on the “moral and strategic” necessity of partitioning Russia

    Yes, you read that right: a discussion on the “need” to partition Russia for “moral and strategic” reasons.

    Who is the Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe, you ask?

    The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent commission of the U.S. Federal Government. For over 45 years, the Commission has monitored compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advanced comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental, and military cooperation in the 57-nation OSCE region.

    In short: it’s another of the zillions of committees run and financed by the US Government. The US Government held a panel earlier today on the “need” to partition Russia. Let that sink in for a bit…………….

    The US, pursuing this course in the rest of the World, ensures by the Dynamic of ‘what you sow, so shall you reap,’ there will be more Death and Violence in America.


  9. Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz concluded his article entitled HOW THE U.S. COULD LOSE THE NEW COLD WAR as follows:

    If the US is going to embark on a new cold war, it had better understand what it will take to win. Cold wars ultimately are won with the soft power of attraction and persuasion. To come out on top, we must convince the rest of the world to buy not just our products, but also the social, political, and economic system we’re selling.

    The US might know how to make the world’s best bombers and missile systems, but they will not help us here. Instead, we must offer concrete help to developing and emerging-market countries, starting with a waiver on all COVID-related intellectual property so that they can produce vaccines and treatments for themselves.



    Liked by 2 people

  10. Right to lifers would say, since Roe v Wade we’ve taught women that they have a fundamental right to kill their unborn children if they find them inconvenient. Why wouldn’t you expect more violence in such a society?


    1. OK, I’ll take the bait.

      Women do not “kill” their (unborn) children. They end pregnancies by aborting a zygote, an embryo, or a fetus.

      “If they find them inconvenient” — Do you truly believe most women treat abortion as “convenient”? You’ve never talked to a woman who’s had one, have you? (Assuming you’re agreeing with the right-to-lifers.)

      Finally, what about the violence done to women by forcing them to have unwanted babies? If I were a women who was raped, or the victim of incest, or I was carrying a seriously malformed fetus, I sure would appreciate right-to-lifers telling me I had no other option than to have the baby.

      I’ve said it before: If men got pregnant, abortion would be cheap, easy, and even praiseworthy. As the author Stephen King said, if men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. First of all, Alex: Was there more violence in America ~ crimes against persons and/or property ~ after Roe v Wade than before?

      A look at these US Crime Statistics from 1960-2019 from The Disaster Center will answer that question very easily:

      And second of all: Take a look at this world map which shows the varying restrictions and limitations on legal abortion by country, and answer the following question:

      Where is the level of military, political, economic, or social violence higher? In those nations at the Red end of the spectrum [Prohibited or only to save the Woman’s life]? Or in those nations at the Blue end [allowed on Broad Grounds or On Request]? []

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just a quick look at it reveals that the Crime that increased the most significantly since Roe v Wade is Forcible Rape. Think there’s any connection between the two?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m not particularly a feminist, but if you get women off the animal cycle of reproduction and give them some say in how many children they’ll have, immediately the floor will rise.- Christopher Hitchens


        2. Looks like crime generally has been going down in the U.S. after it rose earlier, peaking about 1991. Which can be seen as an argument against gun control and agreeing with John Lott’s assertion that more guns equals less crime. Or one could argue that the 1994 crime bill had the effect of cutting crime. Statistics let you make a lot of arguments, some of which are contradictory.


          1. So do You see any link between Roe v Wade and violent crime, which is what started this whole thread?


            1. I think changes in crime rates have more to do with the treatment of crimes and criminals than anything else.


    3. Come on Alex please, your characterisation of a poor unfortunate women who finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy is not empathetic – to say the least. As a male who will never have to face this dilemma – respectfully you should not be passing judgment on these women, or those of us who are “Right to Lifers”.

      Maybe you need to sit down with my doctor daughter who is a gynaecologist/paediatrician in Madison WI, and has to deal with this situation on a routine basis in the real World with real women. Then maybe you would see this a little differently. Abortion is not “killing unborn children”. Thanks.


      1. I’m not defending the assertion. Just stating that it could be made and it’s reasonable. Lots of assertions about the cause of violence could be made and would be reasonable. One could, for example, assert that we are a violent society because of social media, which causes impressionable youth to question their worth as a person, which leads to more suicide, etc. and likely even more homicide. It’s a reasonable argument. Once you get more cultural conditions into the mix the list seems almost endless. That’s my point.


    1. Yeah I thought that was bizarre too. So is the theory that if a person is stripped naked and thrown into an empty cell that he would be less likely to kill himself? Are there psychologists who claim this? Is it a proven remedy for people who have threatened to kill themselves? Are there books out, “The strip naked and throw into an empty cell treatment of potential suicides”? I’m guessing not.


  11. And in Other Other News; Or, Spoken like one who would know, eh?


    WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden said on Tuesday the United States has enough COVID funding to get through at least this year but it needs more money to plan for the next pandemic.

    “WE NEED MORE MONEY TO PLAN FOR THE SECOND PANDEMIC. THERE’S GOING TO BE ANOTHER PANDEMIC. We have to think ahead,” Biden said in remarks at the White House to mark availability of vaccines for young children. [EMPHASIS added.]


  12. POST-SOVIET LESSONS FOR A POST-AMERICAN CENTURY by Dmitry Orlov 12 December 2010

    A decade and a half ago the world went from bipolar to unipolar, because one of the poles fell apart: The S.U. is no more. The other pole – symmetrically named the U.S. – has not fallen apart – yet, but there are ominous rumblings on the horizon. THE COLLAPSE OF THE UNITED STATES SEEMS ABOUT AS UNLIKELY NOW AS THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET UNION SEEMED IN 1985. THE EXPERIENCE OF THE FIRST COLLAPSE MAY BE INSTRUCTIVE TO THOSE WHO WISH TO SURVIVE THE SECOND.

    Reasonable people would never argue that that the two poles were exactly symmetrical; along with significant similarities, there were equally significant differences, both of which are valuable in PREDICTING HOW THE SECOND HALF OF THE CLAY-FOOTED SUPERPOWER GIANT THAT ONCE BESTRODE THE PLANET WILL FARE ONCE IT TOO FALLS APART.

    I have wanted to write this article for almost a decade now. Until recently, however, few people would have taken it seriously. After all, who could have doubted that the world economic powerhouse that is the United States, having recently won the Cold War and the Gulf War, would continue, triumphantly, into the bright future of superhighways, supersonic jets, and interplanetary colonies? [EMPHASES added.]

    Continued at

    Thanks to Dennis for providing a link to this link. Lots to ponder and reflect on here.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “It occurred to me that maybe we’d have better luck as a nation if we tried to be friends with these people instead of always trying to kill them.”
    ~ Scott Ritter, Former US Intelligence Officer


  14. And so it begins on that Front:

    Six conservative lawyers are doing what they can to transform the country into a Christian theocracy

    It’s that time of year again, when six conservative lawyers impose a retrograde view of the world on unsuspecting people everywhere. Yup, it’s the end of the year for the Supreme Court. And this year, the rightwing hijacking of the court is going to be more apparent than ever.

    Tuesday’s decision in Carson v. Makin really sets the tone for the next two weeks. In this case, two Christian private schools challenged a program in Maine that provided tuition assistance to families in rural school districts that don’t have their own public school. Parents could use the tuition assistance to send their children to private school, but Maine prohibited parents from using the money to attend a religious school. The rationale behind that carve-out was that the First Amendment’s prohibition on establishing a religion, so the state banned its tax dollars from going to religion.

    Continued at 


  15. The Supreme Court’s decision on New York’s State Law regarding individuals carrying weapons in public sets up a very interesting Experiment. It will be interesting to see what happens to Crime Rates and Gun Incidents now that just about everybody can carry a sidearm if they want to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crime Rates and Gun Incidents will go up Jeff.
      That’s baked in the cake.
      Grime and gun violence is a cultural thing.


      1. From an Indian point of view – its so obvious to foreigners.
        Americans cannot see the forest for the trees


        1. Excellent report; thanks for the link. i’ve added WINO to my “Foreign Media” tab.

          And don’t condemn ALL Americans, Dennis. There are very many who are very concerned about Guns [and lots of Other things], but they have run into the Buzzsaw that i have mentioned a couple of times here on BV:

          THE PROBLEM confronting America [and the entire Planet] is its systems of government and governance that are built, maintained, and sustained to ENABLE SELECTED SPECIAL INTERESTS TO HAVE UNFETTERED ACCESS TO THE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF GOVERNMENT to manage, manipulate, and/or control national foreign and domestic military, political, economic, financial, legal, social, and cultural policies and programs. ALL TO AND FOR ~ PRIMARILY ~ THE BENEFIT OF THOSE SPECIAL INTERESTS. Any benefit “The People” or “Nation” [or Planet] might derive from all this is purely collateral and generally unintentional.

          And any “Regime Change” in DC at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue [or any other capital city on the Planet] does not change that one bit.

          In the United States, just like Slavery, the opportunities for SPECIAL INTEREST CONTROL OF THE GOVERNMENT WERE BUILT INTO THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION, and those folks have seldom missed an opportunity to take full advantage of the possibilities presented. The Anti-Federalists warned us about all this back then, but to no avail.

          Unless and until that PROBLEM is explored, addressed, acknowledged, accepted, and then actually acted upon, nothing is going to change. [EMPHASES added.]

          And while it’s true that SOME Americans [and most other Folks everywhere, as well] can’t see the forest for the trees; there are also some others that keeping bumping into the trees and cutting them down with chainsaws because they are totally focused on finding that forest.


      2. Like i said: It will be interesting to see how the numbers play out.

        One thing about being in a War Zone where Everybody is essentially equally armed is that there are not a lot of attempted robberies, rapes, or other crimes against persons or properties. And most of the time, when somebody shoots at somebody else, that somebody else will shoot back, if given the opportunity.


        1. If you want to live in a society where people have shoot-outs in the street – be my guest Jeff!
          Going back to the Wild West we see glamorized in the old Hollywood movies – mostly imaginary.


          1. You missed my point completely, Dennis. Having spent two years in a War Zone where the somebody i was shooting at was also shooting at me, i have no desire to be anywhere near anybody with any kind of weapon.

            And while “Wild West” scenarios might develop, i think “Mad Max” might be a lot closer to what will be seen. Until it becomes “V For Vendetta.”

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I know a young man who lives in Milwaukee and is a high school teacher.
              He teaches a course in “Dystopian Literature” – I’d love to take his classes. I think you would as well.
              Two subjects he covers:
              The “Mad Max” movie, and the “V For Vendetta” comics.
              Did you know that Wikipedia has a list of Dystopian literature though the ages.


  16. With respect to my thoughts I have posted in the last weeks suggesting Americans need to emigrate to another country if they want to escape the dystopia America seems to be turning into.


    1. i’ll be perfectly honest with You, Dennis: i’m not sure ANY Nation is going to escape the dystopia this whole Planet seems to be headed toward and turning into. Can You name any Nations that are NOT seeming to turn into dystopias? Or will be able to survive in a Planet full of dystopia?


      1. Jeff, I like to think New Zealand will.
        Small number of people. Long way away from all the crap.
        Established systems, that will make us independent of the issues plaguing the rest of the world.
        We have our problems – but with only 5-million well educated folks – I think we have a good chance.
        I could be dreaming.


        1. But what happens if China ~ Your primary Supplier, as i recall You saying ~ gets embroiled in the global dystopia and is no longer available.

          And is New Zealand self-sufficient in Food and Energy? Or could it be, if necessary?

          Because if it’s not, being a “Long long way from all the crap” may be a problem.


          1. Oil – our only challenge.
            But there are sources in NZ – just very expensive to develop
            China – I think we can make all the crap we import from China. Or better yet, stop making it.


            1. Yeah, it sounds like Oil might be a problem.

              But then again; maybe not:

              “The electricity sector in New Zealand uses mainly renewable energy; such as hydropower, geothermal power and increasingly wind energy. As of 2019, 82% of electricity is generated from renewable sources, making New Zealand one of the countries with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation.” [ ]

              82%… Wow. THAT is impressive.

              And whether NZ “can make all the crap” that comes from China probably depends on the definition of “crap,” and who’s doing the defining, doesn’t it?


              1. @JG MOEBUS
                10-years ago, or more, New Zealand drilled an offshore natural gas well, and installed a plant to convert natural gas into gasoline using the established techniques based on the Fischer-Tropsch process.

                I think it only operated for less than a year before it was shut down because it was too expensive. I have not heard any plans to revisit this given the current World wide situation with gasoline. But it is a way NZ could independent on gasoline – at a price.


            2. Even with the Northern Hemisphere chucking around enough nuclear bombs to destroy themselves, there are some scientist who are daring to predict that NZ, being some 9,000 miles way on the other side of the globe, will be spared any radioactive fallout. Our challenge then will be fending off the 100’s of private jets trying to land at our airports.


              1. Raytheon will happily sell you plenty of surface-to-air missiles, Dennis! Maybe some Stingers too!


              2. Heh. Radioactive Fallout will be the least of Y’All’s worries if the Northern Hemisphere nukes itself out of existence.


          2. Jeff, thinking about it, I don’t see China becoming embroiled in the upcoming global dystopia.
            They will continue on their success, continuing to trade and be the “Workshop of The World”
            Its the rest of the world who will tear themselves apart with their governance, and run-a muck-neoliberal capitalism.
            Similarly with Russia. I see them avoiding being sucked into the Wests problems.
            Sure, the Ukrainian war is going to be their Afghanistan. But they are smart and will solve this.
            What do you think?


            1. i believe that China is already deeply involved in, and participating in that looming global dystopia; and is focused now on trying to figure out how it is going survive the collapse of the West. Simply because China is as interconnected to and interdependent upon the West as the West is on it.

              And the only way China “will continue on its success” is if they succeed in maintaining totalitarian control over their Citizens. Just like the only way the West will continue to even exist is if it succeeds in establishing totalitarian control over its Citizens.

              And if Russia doesn’t get sucked into the West’s problems, it will get sucked into China’s.

              And if Ukraine is going to be the Federation of Russia’s “Afghanistan,” what Lost War does it make for America?


  17. One thing this guy does not emphasis enough for emigrating. ALL these countries have FREE Healthcare.


  18. Interesting.

    So if an American came into one of these countries with the intent and financial wherewithal of becoming an Official Expat, and then fell ill with several medical problems requiring extensive [and very expensive] treatment, will they get that medical care for free? Or would they have to become a Citizen of that nation to get that?

    Also, do Tourists to those nations get free healthcare if they need it? Especially if they come from a country that also has free health care?


    1. I used to think I knew the answer to that.
      I always thought in both instances they got free healthcare.
      I know that in the 70’s this was true.
      And to this day NZ has World-class hospitals and doctors.
      One can get anything in NZ now, that is available in the US. Probably more.

      But I’m learning that this is rapidly changing.
      As NZ’s health system becomes more and more stressed – I don’t think the answer is yes anymore.
      In fact, I read everyday about NZ needs to become for-profit healthcare.
      Same with the British NHS. There is pressure to make it for-profit also.

      And also its almost impossible to retire to New Zealand nowadays in any case- if you are not a citizen.
      New Zealand needs to close its doors – so its not importing all the problems of the rest of the World.
      At 74-years old I am not worrying about these challenges.


      1. What does everybody ~ Left, Right, and Middle ~ say is the reason that the NZ and British health systems are stressed? Because of COVID?


        1. @JG MOEBUS.
          In New Zealand its because the government short changes the Healthcare funding, and the system is underfunded and becoming overwhelmed.
          Jeez… we go again Jeff……..its the damn gubmint!


          1. So what is the government funding that is short-changing Your Health System? And how are New Zealanders liking that?


    I just watched the movie “Little Big Man” again.
    They don’t make movies like that anymore eh?
    Just brilliant! Dustin Hoffman was so young then eh!
    That clip you linked above is so good.

    Or am I just being old and sentimental?
    Not everything sucks nowadays – right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It remains my favorite movie. It has everything: comedy, tragedy, drama, and, most of all, humanity.

      You can learn a lot about life by watching “Little Big Man.” Tar and feathers, I reckon!


  20. @JG MOEBUS.
    Come on Jeff! You have been lecturing to us for weeks about the gubmint lies to us.

    You think for one minute they would admit to the beleaguered American taxpayers they are funding the lavish 5-star luxury Hale Koa Hotel on Waikiki beach for the Military top brass?

    Not a chance. BTW I tried to enter the foyer of that hotel in Honolulu. I was quickly given the old heave-ho! They don’t want us plebian civilians to see what they are up to.


    1. Give it a break, Dennis. i challenged You to meet my bet of a month’s Pension check on whether that Hotel has ever been audited and how it has done on those audits, and why i am sure that that has happened.

      What i will do to prove my case is to contact the Office of The Inspector General of the Department of Defense with a FOIA Request for that information. Having spent close to six years assigned to the OIG of the US Army back in the late 80s-early 90s, i’m sure that OIG DoD will provide whatever information they have. Particularly because ~ in this case ~ the Hotel and the DoD have nothing to hide.

      Who do You plan to contact to back up Your assertion?

      And maybe they don’t want to associate with You “plebian civilians” on their turf. Have You ever been denied entrance to any other private, exclusive, “For Members Only” operation in New Zealand or Seattle?


  21. Getting back to the gun violence, in addition to the approximately 45,000 killed annually, about double that number survive gunshot wounds. Some of those suffer long term pain and disability.


    1. Facts like this, Jerry, don’t seem to matter.

      What matters is “gun rights,” as if guns have rights; indeed, more rights than humans do.

      Can we speak of “hammer rights”? “Saw rights”? “Hedge trimmer rights”? Or even “knife rights”?

      Guns must be freely available and everywhere. They’re a special species of tool with even more rights than the humans wielding them. Rather fascinating, in a grim way.


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