Archive for the ‘Despair’ Category
Higher Numbers of Americans Take Their Lives than During the Depths of the Great Depression
Suicide rates are tied to the economy.
The Boston Globe reported in 2011:
A new report issued today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the overall suicide rate rises and falls with the state of the economy — dating all the way back to the Great Depression.
The report, published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that suicide rates increased in times of economic crisis: the Great Depression (1929-1933), the end of the New Deal (1937-1938), the Oil Crisis (1973-1975), and the Double-Dip Recession (1980-1982). Those rates tended to fall during strong economic times — with fast growth and low unemployment — like right after World War II and during the 1990s.
During the depths of the Great Depression, suicide rates in America significantly increased. As the Globe notes:
The largest increase in the US suicide rate occurred during the Great Depression surging from 18 in 100,000 up to 22 in 100,000 …
We’ve previously pointed out that suicide rates have skyrocketed recently:
The number of deaths by suicide has also surpassed car crashes, and many connect the increase in suicides to the downturn in the economy. Around 35,000 Americans kill themselves each year (and more American soldiers die by suicide than combat; the number of veterans committing suicide is astronomical and under-reported). So you’re2,059 times more likely to kill yourself than die at the hand of a terrorist.
NBC News reported in March:
Suicide rates are up alarmingly among middle-aged Americans, according to the latest federal government statistics.
They show a 28 percent rise in suicide rates for people aged 35 to 64 between 1999 and 2010.
In a letter to The Lancet medical journal, scientists from Britain, Hong Kong and United States said an analysis of data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that while suicide rates increased slowly between 1999 and 2007, the rate of increase more than quadrupled from 2008 to 2010, Reuters reported.
Earlier this month, NY Daily News wrote:
The Great Recession may have been at the root of a great depression that caused suicides to soar among middle-aged Americans, a government report speculates.
The annual suicide rate for adults ages 35 to 64 spiked in the past decade, according to a study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And a shaky economy that nose-dived into the worst financial crisis since the Depression may be the biggest reason why.
The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said the annual suicide rate jumped 28.4% from 1999-2010.
It was the biggest increase of any age group, said the CDC, citing “the recent economic downturn” as one of the “possible contributing factors” for the increase.
“Historically, suicide rates tend to correlate with business cycles, with higher rates observed during times of economic hardship,” the report said.
David Stuckler (a senior research leader in sociology at Oxford), and Sanjay Basu (an assistant professor of medicine and an epidemiologist in the Prevention Research Center at Stanford), write in the New York Times:
The correlation between unemployment and suicide has been observed since the 19th century.
The economic downturn that has shaken Europe for the last three years has also swept away the foundations of once-sturdy lives, leading to an alarming spike in suicide rates. Especially in the most fragile nations like Greece, Ireland and Italy, small-business owners and entrepreneurs are increasingly taking their own lives in a phenomenon some European newspapers have started calling “suicide by economic crisis.”
In Greece, the suicide rate among men increased more than 24 percent from 2007 to 2009, government statistics show. In Ireland during the same period, suicides among men rose more than 16 percent. In Italy, suicides motivated by economic difficulties have increased 52 percent, to 187 in 2010 — the most recent year for which statistics were available — from 123 in 2005.)
Indeed, more Americans are killing themselves today than during the Great Depression. Specifically, there were were 123 million Americans in 1930. The maximum suicide rate during the depths of the Great Depression was 22 out of 100,000 Americans. That means that up to 27,060 Americans killed themselves each year.
In contrast, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that 38,364 Americans committed suicide in 2010. In other words, 2010 suicides were approximately 142% of suicides during the depths of the Great Depression. (The suicide rate is lower today than during the Great Depression, but – given that there aremore Americans – there are more suicides each year.)
The head of my local county’s mental health services confirmed to me today that there are now more suicides now than during the Great Depression.
The Root Causes: Unemployment and Foreclosure
Why do more people kill themselves during severe downturns? It’s not just a downturn in the business cycle in some general sense. It’s more specific than that.
Unemployment and foreclosure are the largest triggers in increased suicide risk.
David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu write:
People looking for work are about twice as likely to end their lives as those who have jobs.
Unemployment is a leading cause of depression, anxiety, alcoholism and suicidal thinking.
ABC News points out:
“Joblessness is a risk factor for suicide,” said Nadine Kaslow, professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University in Atlanta. “The stress is just overwhelming. … People are freaked out.”
“The suicide rate started accelerating in 2008, 2009 and 2010 — someone might still be working, but their house is underwater, or they’re working but they’re working part-time,” Eric Caine, the director of the CDC’s Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention, said by telephone. “These things ripple into families. There’s an economic stress.”
NY Daily News writes:
“Most people who commit suicide tend to suffer from major depression, and this vulnerability tends to be brought forth by very stressful situations like losing one’s home or job,” [Dr. Dan Iosifescu, director of mood and anxiety disorders program at Mount Sinai Hospita] said.
NBC News reports:
The American Association for Suicidology says economic recessions don’t normally affect suicide rates.
“Although US suicide rates did increase slightly during the years of the Great Depression, reaching a peak rate of 17.4/100,000 in 1933, subsequent US recessions have not been found to lead to increased national rates of suicide in the period of or immediately following each recession,” the group says.
The latest numbers suggest suicide rates for middle-aged Americans now surpass the peak during the Depression. And there’s another possible explanation.
“There is a clear and direct relationship between rates of unemployment and suicide,” the suicidology group says in its statement.
“The peak rate of suicide in 1933 occurred one year after the total US unemployment rate reached 25 percent of the labor force. Similar findings have been documented internationally. At the individual level, unemployed individuals have between two and four times the suicide rate of those employed.”
The group also raises concern about the home foreclosure rate.
Indeed, it is likely that more people have lost their jobs during this “Great Recession” than during the Great Depression … especially when you look at the masses of people who have given up altogether and dropped out of the work force.
And it is possible that more people have lost their homes through foreclosure than during the Great Depression as well.
No wonder there are so many suicides …
Postscript: If you suffer from depression, this may help.
Are we on the verge of societal collapse? Many of the greatest empires throughout world history were not conquered by outside forces. Rather, they crumbled inwardly as extreme social decay set in. There have been many that have compared the last days of the Roman Empire to what America is going through right now. In the decades following World War II, the United States was the most powerful and the most prosperous nation on the entire planet, but now things are rapidly changing. There are literally thousands of signs that our society is collapsing all around us. All you have to do to see this is turn on a television or pick up a newspaper. I spend a lot of time discussing our nightmarish economic and political headaches in this column, but the truth is that our problems go much deeper than that. Even if a major miracle happened and we got the “right person” into the White House, the Federal Reserve was shut down, our 16 trillion dollar national debt was paid off, our trade deficit went to zero, a solution was found for the quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble and the “too big to fail” banks were broken up, we would still be facing a national crisis of unprecedented magnitude. The cold, hard reality of the matter is that America has become an absolute cesspool of filth and corruption, and the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is rapidly disappearing. Until we get our hearts right, there is not much hope for the future of this once great nation.
So are these the last days of America? The following are 25 signs of extreme social decay….
#1 We have come to accept that it is “normal” that security goons should be allowed to touch the private parts of our women and our children in the name of “national security”. Just check out the ordeal that conservative radio host and Breitbart editor Dana Loesch suffered through recently at the hands of the TSA…
They performed the regular pat-down and then the agent informed me that she would be using the front of her hands to “sweep” my groin. She pressed and swept across my crotch three times horizontally and three times vertically. In any other circumstance this would be sexual assault.
The agents themselves were friendly and smiled, yet I was still denied a public screening and no witness of my own present for the screening itself (a second agent was in the room at the time). I had no reason to be angry with the agents themselves, yet I was angry, and still am, at the regulations which require them to routinely violate men, women, and children in the name of a false sense of security.
#2 Police up in New Jersey say that a man kept his girlfriend padlocked in a bedroom for most of the last 10 years.
#3 It is hard to imagine some of the sick things that people do behind closed doors. Down in Florida, one former medical examiner was apparently collecting human body parts…
In what could be described as an episode of “Auction Hunters” turned reality horror show, authorities in Pensacola are investigating after finding human brains, hearts and lungs in a storage unit they say belonged to a former medical examiner.
Someone bought the storage unit at an auction last week and noticed a foul smell as they were sifting through furniture and boxes.
Officials at the medical examiner’s office in Pensacola say the remains of more than 100 people were found crudely stored in Tupperware containers, garbage bags and drink cups.
#4 A former fifth grade teacher down in Atlanta has admitted that she helped her students cheat because they were “dumb as hell“.
#5 Many debt collectors are willing to say absolutely despicable things in order to collect debts. One debt collector recently told a disabled military veteran that if he would have “served our country better” he would not be disabled and that he “should have died“…
“If you would have served our country better you would not be a disabled veteran living off Social Security while the rest of us honest Americans work our asses off,” one of the agency’s debt collectors allegedly told the vet. “Too bad, you should have died.”
Michael Collier was declared 100 per cent disabled after suffering permanent spine and head injuries while in the Army. As a result, both Collier and his wife receive disability payments from the federal Social Security Administration, which are exempt from seizure by debt collectors.
#6 In many areas of the country, street drugs have become so powerful that they are pushing users completely over the edge. Of course there is never any excuse for murdering children, but would any rational person do this kind of thing without being high on drugs?…
A Camden, N.J. man was charged with murder for allegedly slashing the throat of a 6-year-old Camden boy. Police say he told investigators he was smoking a combination of marijuana and PCP, known as “Wet” just before the killing.
Osvaldo “Popeye” Rivera, 31, was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with murder and attempted murder.
Police say Rivera was trying to sexually assault the boy’s 12-year-sister and the little boy tried to come to her defense. Investigators say Rivera slashed the throats of both children.
#7 A school bus driver in Wisconsin recently told a 12-year-old boy that “maybe your mother should have chosen abortion for you” because he didn’t like the Romney campaign sign standing in his front yard.
#8 We are continuing to see a rash of “zombie attacks” all over the nation. The following is one recent example from Pennsylvania….
A Doylestown man, who was naked and bleeding profusely, gnawed on woman’s head all while “screaming like an animal” during a wild neighborhood rampage, state police said.
#9 A beekeeper over in North Carolina says that someone recently stole 20,000 beesfrom his property.
#10 Evidence of social decay extends to the highest levels of the federal government. Just check out what some highly paid federal workers have been doing when they were supposed to be working…
In 2006, the deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security was arrested for trying to seduce online someone he thought was a teenage girl. Four years later, the Securities and Exchange Commission found that 17 of 31 employees caught accessing porn at work since 2008 — one for up to eight hours a day — were senior staff.
In 2010, the Boston Globe reported that senior Pentagon staff were downloading child porn. Instead of generating a media storm, the story died. Senior staff were watching the sexual torture of small children on Pentagon computers, and Americans were not outraged?
#11 In a shocking murder trial in southern California, prosecutors have played a tape of a former chef admitting to police that he slow cooked the body of his wife for four days.
#12 The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world, and many of our prisons are absolute hellholes. The following is what a former inmate named Daniel Miller recently told Business Insider about what really goes on inside our prisons…
“When they found out the black homosexual had approached me talking that homosexual stuff, I was told ‘Look you have to stab him or pipe him down,’” Miller recently told Business Insider about his first experiences during two decades spent in and out of prison, most recently for robbery.
“The guys were there just to make sure I actually split this guy’s head open.”
Those “guys” were the Aryan Brotherhood, one of the most famous and feared jailhouse gangs.
Miller, now 38, joined up when he first entered the correctional system in Kansas as a teen. He bounced around a number of different facilities before being released on Sept. 19 this year.
“At 16 years old, I wanted to be accepted in prison,” he said. “I would fight everybody.”
He grew so cold and so good at fighting he became the one ordering attacks on fellow inmates — something that still haunts him.
#13 A 7-year-old boy was part of a gang of youths that recently invaded the home of a 51-year-old woman and beat the living daylights out of her.
#14 What in the world has gotten into our kids? Many of them have literally turned into little monsters. Just check out what two little boys recently did to a church in Virginia…
Two little boys caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to a Loudon County church, according to officials.
The vandals used the children’s toys and art supplies to damage the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and Sunday school rooms. They also smeared food for needy families and their own feces and urine on walls and floors.
According to Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider, all that damage was done by two boys, aged 6 and 7.
#15 A former high school English teacher has been accused of having sex with five different male students. The most disturbing part is that she is a mother of three children and her husband is serving this country in the U.S. Army.
#16 You might want to think twice before becoming a pizza delivery worker. Just check out what happened over in Dallas recently…
Two Dallas teens called in a pizza order to lure a delivery worker to a Grand Prairie house, then beat the woman in the head with a pistol and sexually assaulted her on the porch, according to Grand Prairie police reports released Wednesday.
Bleeding and wearing just a bra, the 30-year-old woman drove herself back to a Grand Prairie Pizza Hut, the reports stated.
The 17-year-olds accused in the July 24 robbery and sexual assault were in custody Wednesday at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center in Dallas in what Grand Prairie police are calling one of the city’s “most heinous offenses” in recent memory.
#17 According to shocking new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately two-thirds of all Americans in the 15 to 24 year old age bracket have engaged in oral sex.
#18 Last year it was reported that 86 teen girls at one high school in Memphis, Tennessee were either pregnant or had recently given birth.
#19 Sex trafficking has become a raging epidemic in America. It is estimated that there are now approximately a million prostitutes in the United States. Most of them are being trafficked by male “pimps”.
#20 As our social decay gets even deeper, it is going to become more important than ever to secure our homes. Just check out what happened over in Kansas City, Missouri recently…
An elderly couple is recovering Tuesday after they were brutally beaten inside their south Kansas City home.
The woman was also raped, according to a police report.
Tony L. Putman, 18, of Kansas City was charged with six felonies Tuesday afternoon. The charges include one count of rape and two counts of robbery.
The couple’s ordeal began about 1:30 p.m. Monday when a man broke into their home near 73rd Street and Campbell Avenue. Entry was gained through a basement window, which was broken.
#21 It is becoming easy to understand why so many Americans are arming themselves these days. Even Brad Pitt says that he “doesn’t feel safe” without a gun.
#22 Racial hatred is rising to distressing new heights in this country. Here is one recent example…
A Michigan State University student is recovering after he was beaten up and had his mouth stapled shut during what investigators are categorizing as a brutal hate crime.
Zachary Tennen, a 19-year-old sophomore in MSU’s journalism program, said he was at a house party on the 500 block of Spartan Avenue early Sunday morning when two men approached him and asked if he was Jewish. When he responded “Yes,” the two men raised their arms into a Nazi salute and said “Heil Hitler” before knocking him unconscious, according to Tennen’s mother, Tina.
About 20 people reportedly watched as the men proceeded to staple Zachary Tennen’s mouth shut at the lips and gums. His jaw was broken in two places during the attack.
#23 Overall, more than 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States since Roe vs. Wade was decided back in 1973. At this point, the number of babies killed by abortion in America every year is almost as high as the total number of military deaths in all of U.S. history.
#24 Respect for parents has declined to shockingly low levels in America. Just check out what one son down in Florida recently did to his own mother…
A Florida man yesterday rubbed dog feces in his mother’s face during an argument in the home they share, police report.
Cops arrested William Jenkins, 22, on a felony domestic battery charge for pushing his mother, 53, to the floor during the dispute, according to a Palmetto Police Department report.
When questioned by cops, Jenkins denied pushing his mother, but admitted that he “did rub dog defecation on her face because she yelled at him,” investigators noted.
#25 A 21-year-old Utah man is being accused of stabbing his grandmother 111 times and then removing some of her organs. But news like this hardly makes headlines anymore because crimes such as this one have become so common.
Sadly, a list like this one could go on indefinitely. More examples of extreme social decay pop up in the news almost hourly.
But we don’t like to admit that we have problems. Our politicians continue to proclaim how we are “the greatest nation on earth” and that the rest of the world should follow our example.
Rarely do you ever hear politicians talk about how we are the most obese nation on the planet, about how we have the highest divorce rate on the planet or about how we have the highest teen pregnancy rate on the planet.
Until we are willing to admit just how bad things have gotten, we will never be willing to accept the solutions that are necessary to start fixing things.
Many Americans are pinning their hopes on the upcoming election, but instead of making things better I am concerned that this election may trigger a lot of the anger that is boiling just under the surface in this country.
If we continue down the path that we are currently on, the social decay that we are now experiencing is going to accelerate.
The fundamental level of trust that any society needs in order to operate efficiently is breaking down, and more Americans than ever are living in fear. You can see it in their eyes.
Our politicians can pile on millions more laws, rules and regulations and they can put a police officer on every corner, but that isn’t going to make Americans trust one another. Once confidence in our societal institutions and our faith in one another is gone, it is going to be incredibly difficult to ever rebuild it.
Yes, we really are on the verge of societal collapse. What we are experiencing right now is just the leading edge of the coming crisis.
Things are going to get a whole lot worse from here.
The problems that America is experiencing right now are not just confined to the field of economics. The truth is that there are signs of deep decay wherever we look, and without question the United States is rotting from the inside out in thousands of different ways. For a long time ourdebt-fueled prosperity has masked much of the social decay that has been festering underneath the surface, but now it is becoming increasingly apparent that the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is beginning to disappear. For many Americans, it is easy to point a finger at a particular group or political party and blame them for all of our problems, but the reality of the matter is that our societal decay cuts across all income levels, all political affiliations and all regions of the country. We are being destroyed from within, and this decay can be seen on the streets of the most dilapidated sections of major U.S. cities and it can also be seen in the halls of power in Washington D.C. and on Wall Street. It is undeniable that something has fundamentally changed. The American people do not seem to possess the same level of character that they once had. So where do we go from here?
The following are 25 signs the collapse of America is speeding up as society rots from the inside out….
1. Homicides in Chicago are 38 percent ahead of where they were last year at this time. In fact, the Daily says that “homicide victims in the Windy City outnumber U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this year”. Things are taking a turn for the worse in other major U.S. cities as well. Just check out the carnage that happened in New York City this past Friday night….
Across barely eight hours, at least seven New Yorkers were murdered and another 21 shot, stabbed or slashed across the city — with only three suspects arrested before the blood stopped flowing
2. Speaking of New York City, a teacher there recently posted the following on her Facebook page….
“Crupi and I survived a shootout today…Thank God we are ok…To all the wanna be gangstas of Staten Island (who say they are from Brooklyn but really aren’t), be grateful you have what you have and stop trying to live a lifestyle you will never understand.”
About a week later, her husband discovered her dead in a pool of her own blood in their apartment. She had been stabbed numerous times.
3. Reporter James Carlini recently discussed the growing problems that roaming gangs of youths are causing along the Magnificent Mile in Chicago….
There is an increase in problems at night with small gangs roaming around looking for the right prey.
Don’t bother looking for any cops, they are far and few between. Little perfume-size pepper spray canisters may be in vogue, politically correct and fit in a purse, but they are not practical. Forget about pepper spray, you’d need a gallon jug of it to stop five or six assailants.
Do you now need a .357 Magnum to walk down the Mag Mile? Maybe a compact .45 or a high-capacity 9MM “just to be on the safe side” is more what you should have. Even the police are telling each other that they better “carry large caliber” off-duty and not be caught unarmed.
4. Down in Florida, a lifeguard named Tomas Lopez was recently fired for attempting to saving a man that was drowning “outside his patrol zone“….
Lopez, 21, was hired by Jeff Ellis Management to monitor a portion of a public beach in Hallandale Beach, Fla. The company allegedly gave Lopez strict instructions to stay inside his patrol zone, ABC News reports.
But when Lopez spotted a man in distress outside his patrol zone Monday afternoon, he ignored those instructions and leapt into action.
By the time lifeguard Tomas Lopez got to the man, other bystanders had already pulled him to shore, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Lopez stayed with the man until paramedics arrived.
That valiant act was Lopez’s last as a lifeguard, as his employer fired him for straying 1,500 feet outside his patrol zone.
5. Authorities say that thieves are stealing identities and filing fraudulent tax returns on a scale never seen before….
With nothing more than ledgers of stolen identity information — Social Security numbers and their corresponding names and birth dates — criminals have electronically filed thousands of false tax returns with made-up incomes and withholding information and have received hundreds of millions of dollars in wrongful refunds, law enforcement officials say.
The criminals, some of them former drug dealers, outwit the Internal Revenue Service by filing a return before the legitimate taxpayer files. Then the criminals receive the refund, sometimes by check but more often though a convenient but hard-to-trace prepaid debit card.
In all, the IRS says that there were approximately 940,000 fake tax returns filed for 2010.
6. U.S. Secret Service agents are supposed to be “the best of the best” and are charged with guarding our top public officials. But even they have exhibited a consistent pattern of moral decay for many years according to one recent report….
Secret Service agents and officers have been accused of leaking sensitive information, publishing porn, sexual assaults, illegal wiretaps, embezzlement and drunkenness on duty, according to a 229-page log released yesterday.
After a prostitution scandal in April, when agents consorted with hookers while preparing for President Obama’s arrival in Colombia, Service Director Mark Sullivan apologized. But he said it was an isolated case, not a “systemic issue.”
However, the log, which the Service Service released yesterday after news organizations requested it under the Freedom of Information Act, shows a pattern of misdeeds dating back to 2003.
7. These days thieves will steal just about anything that is not bolted down and that they can sell for money. For example, three thieves recently broke into a Chicago beauty supply store and took off with hair extensions that were worth a total of $230,000.
9. According to one shocking new report, one out of every 10 Wall Street employees is a “clinical psychopath”. That is a rate about 10 times higher than the general population.
10. Even many police are going crazy these days. Over in Seattle, police zapped a pregnant woman with a taser three times just because she refused to sign a ticket.
11. Down in California, one man recently sliced off the ear of another man with a knife over an unpaid debt.
12. These days we are seeing senseless crimes being committed even in small towns in the heartland of America. Just check out what happened in Helena, Montana about a week ago….
Helena Police are working to identify two young men after what they call a random act of violence over the weekend. Helena Police found a 40-year-old homeless man badly beaten in an alley behind the Gold Bar around 2 a.m. Sunday morning.
Helena Police Detective Sergeant Richard Drysdale states,” The video shows two white males surrounding the victim as he was entering the walkway yelling at him and then knocking him down to the ground where they beat and kicked him until he was unconscious.”
You can find a video report about this incident right here.
13. One town in Connecticut was forced to shut down a beautiful new public fountain because too many people were using it as a toilet.
14. According to one very shocking study, the percentage of U.S. households that contain a married couple with children has fallen from 44.3% in 1960 to 20.2% today.
15. A huge brawl between parents erupted during one recent preschool graduation ceremony down in the Los Angeles area.
16. We continue to see “mob robberies” at retail establishments all over the nation. During one recent mob robbery in Detroit, thugs beat the living daylights out of one very unfortunate stock clerk.
17. Speaking of Detroit, nobody is immune to the spreading violence in that city. For example, just check out what happened recently to a 22-year-old pregnant woman….
A 22-year-old pregnant woman survived after being bound, driven to Detroit, set on fire and shot early Saturday morning.
The woman, who was nine-months pregnant, had returned from a movie with her boyfriend and dropped him off at his house in Warren when she was approached from behind, Warren police Sgt. Dave Geffert said.
The woman’s hands, feet and eyes were bound with duct tape. She was then forced into her car and driven to an unknown place in Detroit where she was doused with lighter fluid, set on fire and shot once in the upper back, he said.
18. Many families returned to their homes following the recent wildfires in Colorado only to discover that their houses had been robbed and looted.
19. One 33-year-old art teacher in Arizona was not satisfied with only having sex with one of her students. In fact, police have charged her with having sex with four of her male students.
20. Down in Florida, one man has actually been charged with biting the lips off of a kitten.
21. Over in Waco, Texas a 22-year-old man recently strangled and ate the family dog while he was high on drugs.
22. Of course most of us have heard of the recent outbreak of “zombie attacks” around the nation where criminals have actually been biting their victims and chewing their flesh. The following is another example of this phenomenon from a recent case in central New York….
A synthetic drug known as “bath salts” is blamed for some bizarre behavior in central New York.
The Utica Observer-Dispatch reports that police officers were called to Stanley’s Bar Saturday night to check out a woman described as emotionally disturbed. When an officer approached her, she lunged at him and tried to bite his face. Police say she screamed that she wanted to “kill someone and eat them.”
The woman was taken to St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital for a mental health evaluation.
Another very disturbing “zombie incident” took place down in Georgia recently….
Karl Laventure, 21, was believed to be high on bath salts when he tried to attack the officers in Lilburn, Georgia.
And after they had managed to subdue him he began threatening to eat them.
Laventure appeared out of some woods and was seen running naked around a golf range near Atlanta, swinging a club around his head and screaming.
Police said that it took several officers to subdue the man who had ‘super-human strength’.
23. All over America, people seem to be losing their minds. Just check out what one man in New Jersey did recently when police arrived at his home….
Officers got a call that morning when a witness said Carter was threatening to harm himself with a knife. Two cops responded, kicked in the door and found Carter in the corner, the station reported.
Carter allegedly ignored officers’ orders to put down the knife, and instead began stabbing himself in the abdomen, neck and legs.
An attempt to pepper spray the bleeding man had no effect, the Associated Press reported.
That’s when Carter — disemboweled but responsive — reportedly threw bits of his skin and intestines at the officers.
24. One woman in the St. Louis area was recently caught cooking meth in her purse inside a Wal-Mart store.
25. Anyone that believes that slavery has been abolished in America does not know what they are talking about. Every single night sex slaves are being horribly abused all over the United States. The following is from a recent Daily Mail article….
The FBI has rescued 79 teens held against their will and forced into prostitution from hotels, truck stops and stores during a three-day swoop on sex-trafficking rings across the country.
The sex slaves were aged between 13 and 17, although one said she had been involved in prostitution since she was just 11, authorities said.
During the sting operations across 57 U.S. cities – including Atlanta, Sacramento and Toledo, Ohio – 104 alleged pimps were arrested.
It is estimated that “100,000 children are victims of prostitution and trafficking each year” in the United States.
Are you starting to get the picture?
Sadly, there are dozens and dozens more examples like these. If you want to see more examples of how the collapse of America is speeding up, check out these articles that I recently published….
The frightening thing is that this breakdown of our society is happening at the same time that our economy is completely falling to pieces.
This economic decline that we are experiencing is shredding the middle class and it is plunging millions of Americans into very desperate circumstances. The following is a brief excerpt from a recent Rolling Stone article….
Every night around nine, Janis Adkins falls asleep in the back of her Toyota Sienna van in a church parking lot at the edge of Santa Barbara, California. On the van’s roof is a black Yakima SpaceBooster, full of previous-life belongings like a snorkel and fins and camping gear. Adkins, who is 56 years old, parks the van at the lot’s remotest corner, aligning its side with a row of dense, shading avocado trees. The trees provide privacy, but they are also useful because she can pick their fallen fruit, and she doesn’t always have enough to eat. Despite a continuous, two-year job search, she remains without dependable work. She says she doesn’t need to eat much – if she gets a decent hot meal in the morning, she can get by for the rest of the day on a piece of fruit or bulk-purchased almonds – but food stamps supply only a fraction of her nutritional needs, so foraging opportunities are welcome.
Prior to the Great Recession, Adkins owned and ran a successful plant nursery in Moab, Utah. At its peak, it was grossing $300,000 a year. She had never before been unemployed – she’d worked for 40 years, through three major recessions.
You can read the rest of the article right here.
What would you do if you were in a similar situation?
Sadly, many more Americans will end up just like her. As I wrote about the other day, the U.S. economy is not going to be able to produce enough jobs for everyone anymore. In fact, the overall employment picture is going to keep getting worse for working Americans.
Things have gotten so bad that even many very highly educated scientists cannot find jobs in America right now. Almost everybody is hurting, and we haven’t even gotten to the next wave of the economic collapse yet.
The next time that there is a major spike in the unemployment rate, millions of Americans will lose all hope and will become very desperate.
And desperate people do desperate things.
The rot and decay that we are witnessing right now is just the beginning.
Things are going to get a lot worse.
So let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst.
If you went out and took a poll of the American people on July 4th (Independence Day) and asked them if they are free, what would the results look like? Of course the results would be overwhelmingly lopsided. Most Americans believe that they live in “the land of the free” and that they are not enslaved to anyone. But is that really the case? Slavery does not always have to involve whips and shackles. There are many other forms of slavery. One dictionary definition of a slave is “one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence”. I really like that definition. Today, millions of Americans are slaves of the system and they don’t even realize it. Debt is a form of slavery, and millions of Americans having become deeply enslaved to our debt-based financial system. When someone enslaves someone else, the goal of the master is to reap a benefit out of the slave. You don’t want the slave to just sit there and collect dust. Today, most Americans have willingly shackled themselves to a system that systematically drains their wealth and transfers it to the very wealthy. Most of them don’t even realize that they have been enslaved even as the system sucks them dry.
Just think about it. Where is the “big money” in the United States today?
When asked that question, most Americans think of Wall Street.
Well, who controls Wall Street?
The bankers do.
The borrower is the servant of the lender, and they generate massive amounts of wealth by lending us money.
Perhaps an example will be helpful.
Have you ever run up $5000 of credit card debt? Many people have run up much, much more than that, but let us use $5000 for our example.
According to the Federal Reserve, if you only make the minimum payment every month, at a 20% interest rate it will take you 49 years to pay that credit card off and you will pay back a total of $26,169.
So you would have gotten the original benefit of spending the $5000 and you would have had to work extremely hard to pay back an additional $21,169 to the bankers.
In essence, you would be working as a servant of the bankers until you had paid back that entire debt plus interest.
Unfortunately, our entire system is now designed to get you to go into debt.
It starts before we even get into the “real world”. We are constantly told that we cannot get a “good job” without a college degree, but a college education is so ridiculously expensive these days that most of us cannot afford one without going into lots of debt.
Many of you out there know exactly what I am talking about.
Do you have a pile of student loan debt?
In fact, the total pile of student loan debt in the United States is now over a trillion dollars.
Unfortunately, when a lot of us graduated we found out that the “good jobs” that we were promised simply were not there. Last year, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.
So many young adults are starting out life already enslaved to a gigantic pile of debt but without a good job that will enable them to comfortably service that debt.
The really “lucky” graduates from the top schools flock to Wall Street so that they can make lots of money running the debt-based financial system that is enslaving all the rest of us.
Once young people leave school, there are lots of other “debt traps” to fall into.
Once you get out into the “real world”, just about every major purchase is going to involve another pile of debt.
Do you want a house?
Do you want a car?
About 70 percent of all vehicle purchases in the U.S. now involve at least some borrowed money.
Consumer debt is particularly insidious. Our stores are filled with very beautiful things, and it is really easy to buy a bunch of stuff and “put it on plastic”.
We just keep plunging ourselves deeper and deeper into debt slavery. Most Americans never seem to learn. Over the past 30 years those of us in the “bottom 95 percent” have seen our financial shackles just get heavier and heavier. The following is from a recent CNN article….
In 1983, the bottom 95% had 62 cents of debt for every dollar they earned, according to research by two International Monetary Fund economists. But by 2007, the ratio had soared to $1.48 of debt for every $1 in earnings.
When you pile up lots of debt, you aren’t just working for yourself anymore. You are also working for those that you owe the debts to. Your hard work and sweat end up making them a lot wealthier.
Our state and local governments have enslaved themselves to debt as well. Total state and local government debt is now about 8 times higher than it was 30 years ago.
At this point, many U.S. cities are in very serious trouble with debt. In fact, another California municipality has just declared bankruptcy. On Monday, the town of Mammoth Lakes announced that it has formally filed for bankruptcy.
But this is just the beginning.
The truth is that we are a nation that is absolutely drowning in debt and we need a lot more money in order to keep up with all of this debt.
But there is a problem.
In our debt-based financial system, the creation of more money actually creates more debt.
So how are we ever going to get out of the hole that we are in?
Today, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created back in 1913. This is why it is so important for the American people to realize that the Federal Reserve is a perpetual debt machine.
The Federal Reserve system itself does not make much money. The vast majority of the profits that the Federal Reserve makes are transferred back to the U.S. government.
But that is not what the Federal Reserve was created to do.
What the Federal Reserve was created to do was to set up a system where the U.S. government would borrow money and pay interest on it instead of just creating the money itself.
Last year the U.S. government spent more than 454 billion dollars just on interest on the national debt. That is a form of national slavery. 454 billion dollars that we worked very hard to make was taken from us and transferred into the pockets of some very wealthy people.
The truth is that the U.S. government does not actually need to ever borrow a single penny from anyone. As a sovereign government it could directly issue money into circulation.
But lending money to governments is very, very profitable and it is the kind of thing that wars are fought over.
For example, the First Bank of the United States (the very first central bank in our country) was established in 1791 and the charter for that bank expired in 1811 and was not renewed.
So what happened the very next year?
The War of 1812. During that war Washington D.C. was actually captured and burned. The final major battle of that war was the battle of New Orleans which took place on January 8, 1815.
So what happened the very next year?
President James Madison signed the charter for the Second Bank of the United States on April 10, 1816.
The goal has always been to enslave the American people. Debt is used to enslave us individually, it is used to enslave our businesses, it is used to enslave our state and local governments and it is used to enslave our federal government.
So are you a slave of the system?
If you are in debt, then you are a slave at least to some degree.
Unfortunately, the global financial system has become so saturated with debt that it is now on the verge of collapse. It appears that things could be getting significantly worse during the second half of this year, and the years ahead do not look very promising at all.
Sadly, most Americans do not see any of this coming. In fact, a new CNN/ORC International poll has found that about 60 percent of all Americans think that the U.S. economy will be in good shape next year.
Can you believe that?
The mainstream media has done a fantastic job of brainwashing the general public.
The “blue team” is convinced that if Barack Obama wins the election and the Democrats take control of both houses of Congress that prosperous times are on the way.
The “red team” is convinced that if Mitt Romney wins the election and the Republicans take control of both houses of Congress that the U.S. economy will be put back on the right track.
Well, the truth is that there is not going to be a solution to our economic problems on the national level. We have accumulated the greatest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and it is going to collapse and crush us no matter which brand of corrupt politicians we sent to Washington.
On July 4th, millions upon millions of Americans will celebrate “Independence Day” with cookouts, parades and fireworks without ever realizing the true nature of what is really going on.
Hopefully we can get more of them educated while there is still time.
We naturally fear change and transformation, but there is a more sinister source of our chronic stress.
Yesterday I addressed the stress created by the disconnect between official happy-talk and the reality we are experiencing: The Phony “Economic Recovery,” Stress and “Losing It”. The devolution of the Status Quo is stressful, and we naturally fear this process because what happens next is unknown. As correspondent David P. observes, all change is stressful, even the positive type. But David identifies another source of chronic stress/fear:
Last year you wrote an essay about what you called the “often-wrenching process of change.” (Change and the Process of TransformationAugust 15, 2011). I think there is a marketing/consumerist aspect to our fears. I think the fear of “being yourself” and wanting to retain that fantasy viewpoint is all about the fear that your real self is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.Most of the country feels this way – not good enough. But we’ve had help getting there – a million commercials by age 35, lovingly scripted by experts focused on motivating us to consume, often based on improving status or looking better. How could your real self be good enough if you need all those products? Most people are terrified to be stripped of all their things that prop them up, not because they are intrinsically lame people, but because that’s how they’ve been programmed to think. Its very hard to avoid this programming. I mean, really. One MILLION commercials. And I’m certain more time, effort, energy, and creativity went into those commercials than the actual programming - especially given today’s reality TV crap. And parents and friends help to reinforce. Its one of the hardest things ever to have a healthy level of detachment from all the stuff.
I once read an almanac (don’t ask me why) from the 1950s and in the back, there was this table that I’ll never forget. It was a stress table, and it rated each stressful event. Obvious ones like death of a spouse, divorce, getting fired, but JUST AS STRESSFUL were the so-called positive changes – getting promoted, getting married, birth of a child. What I drew from this is that all change (positive OR negative) is inherently stressful. Which ties in completely with what you wrote. Transformation is stressful, even when nominally positive.
Thank you, David, for describing the ontological stress created by the consumerist marketing machine: the more insecure and stressed we are, the easier it is to sell us impulse buying on credit. Debt-serfdom isn’t just the result of easy credit: it’s the result of marketing aimed at eroding an authentic sense of self and breaking down our rational ability to make coherent plans and stick to them.
Charles Hugh Smith – Of Two Minds
Derealization leads to chronic stress, which then disrupts our ability to make rational decisions and follow plans.
We have all experienced the disorientation and “brain freeze” that stress triggers. It seems these symptoms of stress have become normalized in countries where the authorities keep promoting phony “economic recoveries.” The disconnect between what the authorities are claiming and what people are actually experiencing is widening, and that leads to stress. No wonder more and more people are “losing it” in public as their neural circuitry melts down under the strain of synthesizing what they experience (austerity) and what they’re told (official spin about the “recovery”).
In Survival+ I call this process derealizationas lived experience is derealized by official spin and propaganda.
Recent research is illuminating how stress disrupts the default hierarchy of the brain. In the absence of stress, the neocortex-rational-mind functions suppress the more primitive subconscious signals of aggression, hunger, sex drive, etc. in order to concentrate our effort to complete some planned activity.
Everyday Stress Can Shut Down the Brain’s Chief Command Center. Neural circuits responsible for conscious self-control are highly vulnerable to even mild stress. When they shut down, primal impulses go unchecked and mental paralysis sets in.(Scientific American; subscription required, hopefully your local library has a copy)
This helps explain the natural “fight or flight” response we feel when suddenly confronted with danger or potential danger, but more importantly it illuminates how we lose the ability to analyze circumstances rationally when we are “stressed out.” Once our rational analytic abilities are shut down, we are prone to making a series of ill-informed and rash decisions.
This has the potential to set up a destructive positive feedback loop: the more stressed out we become, the lower the quality of our decision-making, which then generates poor results that then stress us out even more, further degrading our already-impaired rational processes. This feedback loop quickly leads to “losing it completely.”
Doesn’t this describe our increasingly dysfunctional and disconnected-from-reality legislative process?
In pondering human development over the past 20,000 years of the transition from hunter-gatherer groups to modern life, it seems self-evident that stress was likely to be resolved in relatively short order in the hunter-gatherer lifestyle: everyone was known to everyone else, conflicts had to be resolved simply because the group survival depended on it, and most threats could be fended off with vigilance, weapons or left behind by a few hours of fast walking.
Contrast the environment that selected for this stress/conscious self-control feedback with modern life: in the modern urban life and work environment, stress is more or less constant and our ability to resolve stressful situations is limited.
This helps explain the increasing prevalence of people “losing it” in public when they encounter a rather typical frustration such as the inability to cash a check at a credit union. Just last week I saw a middle-aged man “lose it” at our local credit union, swearing and raging against employees who were simply following CU guidelines on check cashing. As the finances of many enterprises and households comes under further stress, then self-control degrades and people are more likely to “lose it.”
Though this particular article focuses on short-term stress, there is growing body of evidence that chronic stress has a number of subtle and destructive consequences. In addition to the common-sense connection between chronic stress and hypertension, there is evidence that obesity is also related to stress-caused conditions such as inadequate sleep and chronic inflammation. This makes sense as the stress hormones erode the immune system’s responsiveness.
Behaviorally, stress breaks down self-control, so it is no surprise that stress leads to bingeing, addictive behavior, impluse buying, etc.–all “knock-on” effects with negative consequences.
Chronic stress permanently degrades our ability to rationally analyze and plan, and so we act irrationally or erratically, as we are no longer able to stick to a conscious plan of coherent action. With the rational mind and self-control centers permanently suppressed, we are prone to “zombie” passivity, “sleepwalking” though life. This may help explain Americans’ remarkable passivity as their civil liberties are taken away and their financial insecurity increases.
Many of the features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are visible in “everyday Americans,” and an understanding of how stress erodes rational thought and self-control helps explain why.
We have three ways to counter the destructive consequences of stress:
1) Develop positive physical and mental responses via discipline and practice (for example, yoga, martial arts, etc.)
2) Turn off the mainstream media
3) Stay focused on our plans. The simpler and more positive the plan, the more likely it is we can stay focused on it in stressful circumstances.
This entry is drawn from Musings Report 13. The Musings Reports are sent weekly to subscribers and major contributors.
Charles Hugh Smith – Of Two Minds