Tag Archives: Fear

Reality Dysfunction Cause or Result? More Middle Aged White Males Dying

Starting about 15 years ago, something surprising happened. Mortality rates for whites began to rise, even though mortality rates for all other races and ethnic groups continued to decline. Some psychologists believe it is a s a result of stress due to the loss of jobs, ability to earn a living, and future insecurity. A lot of the same elements driving the conservative sect into the sort of reality dysfunction as we see on Faux News and obvious lies from conservative pundits and politicians and incessant fear mongering. For example this recent whopper by Sean Hannity, that President Obama had approved “250,000 Syrian immigrants a year” (AKA “evil Muslims” to tear down fragile conservative christianity). And because less than 1% of the Faux News audience is black, black folks just don’t feel the need to go out and jump off a tall bridge, despite higher unemployment.

A new study finds a striking increase in the death rates of some groups of white, middle-aged Americans.

Researchers on Monday released the results of a statistical survey showing a striking increase in the death rates of white, middle-aged Americans who have less than a college education. The researchers didn’t draw any hard conclusions as to the reasons for the spike (“This paper really is a question, not an answer,” one observer told theWashington Post), but they offered a couple of speculations. Economic forces are likely at least partly to blame, they said.

Between 1999 and 2013, white men and women ages 45-54 saw their mortality rate increase by a half-percent per year, reversing decades of improvements up until that time. The main causes were suicide and the use of alcohol and drugs (both legal and illegal), according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The paper was authored by Angus Deaton, the 2015 Nobel laureate in Economics, and his economics-professor wife, Anne Case. Both are professors at Princeton University.

The increase equates to about 500,000 additional deaths in all.

The rise is all the more striking given that in nearly all advanced countries, death rates for most groups have been falling , as people have quit smoking and as medical care has improved.

Substance abuse plays role

Blacks, Hispanics, younger whites, and more educated whites in the United States all continued to see their death rates fall, according to the paper, though mortality is still higher among blacks than among whites.

Researchers pointed in particular to the rise of heroin use in recent years, nearly all of which happened among white people.

A disproportionate number of people in the demographic that suffered the spike reported feeling more pain, both physical and psychological. That usually comes with a rise in alcohol and drug use.

What about the economy?

How attributable is the problem to economic forces? It’s impossible to know for sure without more study, but the paper’s authors themselves speculated that the economic crisis of 2008 might have been a major factor.

And indeed, it might well go back further than that. Earlier studies have noted alarming increases in the suicide rates among middle-aged Americans, which researchers have attributed at least partly to economic troubles. As for working-class whites, one need only look at the comments section under any political news story (and many non-political ones) to see that many of them, whether legitimately or not, are feeling, as a group, economically displaced and socially marginalized. Disruptions caused by the outsourcing of jobs overseas, falling representation by labor unions, stagnant wages, and falling demand for unskilled and semi-skilled labor might be taking their toll on their physical and psychological well being.

Ergo – Spending way too much time watching and absorbing fear mongering by Faux News about minorities – and way too little time ‘fessing up to the addiction problems with prescription meds, Meth, and Heroin, allowing these drugs to make massive inroads into the community.

Watch Faux News and die…Literally.

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Posted by on November 3, 2015 in Faux News


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Domestic Terrorism By the “Protectors”…

“We aim to kill segregation or be killed by it.”

Fred Shuttlesworth

The KKK and Jim Crow survived for over 100 years on intimidation. Most people were afraid to speak faring the violent consequences.

It seems that threat hasn’t left this part of Texas in 2015…

After the death of Sandra Bland, a mysterious protest appears

PRARIE VIEW, Texas — The sign was homemade, all but two words written in black on white strips of paper attached to a wrought iron fence facing University Drive, the gateway to Prairie View A&M University.

“Signal lane change or sheriff may kill you,” it said. “Kill you” was written in red.

Sandra Bland had come to the area from Chicago for a job interview on July 9 at Prairie View, a historically black school that was her alma mater. She was stopped the next day by a state trooper for failing to signal near the entrance on University Drive, and then arrested on suspicion of assaulting the officer.

For some, the sign struck a chord.

“It was a comment about what happened,” said Mike James, 54, the former video coordinator for the Prairie View football team.

James said Bland’s traffic stop “made no sense to me. The only reason she changed lanes was to get out of the way” of the trooper. James walked to campus Friday on University Drive so he would pass a memorial erected at the site where she was stopped.

Bland, 28, was found dead in her cell July 13 at the jail run by the Waller County sheriff’s office about 60 miles northwest of Houston, hanging from a partition by a plastic bag. Her death was ruled a suicide in an autopsy released Friday.

A photograph of the sign went viral after it was posted online Tuesday, retweeted thousands of times.

But later Tuesday, the sign had disappeared.

“I don’t know why they took it down,” James said. But then he added, “This is a Democratic, black area surrounded by white Republican people. They’re afraid of the political repercussions.”

The home behind the fence where the sign was posted is like many in the surrounding Alta Vista subdivision: a battered single-story brick ranch house.

The young African American mother who answered the door Friday had red eyes and said she had grown tired of dealing with the sign. She did not want to give her name, worried about retaliation.

When the sign first appeared a week after Bland’s death, she feared for her family’s safety. She was upset at whoever put it there, saying she thought: “You just put a target on our backs.”

She pulled it down. By Tuesday, someone had posted the sign again.

“So I cut it down,” she said.

No one at neighboring businesses seemed to know whose idea the sign was.

“Whoever did it, they’re crying out,” said Audrey Saul, who was cleaning out her Saul’s Wheel’m & Deal antique shop down the street.

Saul, 50, admired the sign-maker’s bravery. But she also understood the fear of the young mother who took it down. “Until people get the fear out of them …,” Saul said as she stood outside her shop in the afternoon heat, shaking her head.

“Let’s move forward and rise up. Exposure is the only thing that’s going to help now,” she said, setting off to ask neighboring businesses and bystanders about the sign.

She tried a barbershop. But the owner had not seen the sign, nor had he ventured out when Bland was stopped across the street, where her memorial now stands at the foot of an oak tree.

“They are so afraid in this town. They don’t want any retaliation. Like the barber said: He didn’t go out,” Saul said as she left.

She tried nearby PV Grocery. The owner had not seen the sign. In the parking lot, she spotted her former brother-in-law, who made some calls to friends around town, but got nowhere.

She called the Rev. Walter Pendleton of Pendleton Chapel Baptist Church in nearby Hempstead, and then walked to the memorial to wait for him, saying, “He probably knows. I bet he did some investigating.”

She passed a small white wood frame church, Hope AME. After the pastor, the Rev. Lenora Dabney, spoke at Bland’s memorial on campus Tuesday, she said, she received threats.

By the time Saul reached the memorial, an older African American man from Georgia was snapping photos with his phone. Bland’s photograph was affixed to the tree trunk, surrounded by fabric roses, many yellow, and a heart-shaped barrier of white stones.

David Levell, 62, of Atlanta had come to visit his grandson at the university, and brought him to see the memorial.

“They talk about it all over Georgia,” the postal worker said of the case, adding that it resonates with him.

“I’ve been pulled over myself, stopped unnecessarily. I’ve had them stop me and ask where I’m going” — even in his postal uniform, he said.

“I think he abused his authority,” Saul said of the trooper.

“I do too,” Levell said. But, he added, “nothing will come of it.”

Just then, Pendleton and his wife arrived in matching red shorts and white T-shirts. No word on the sign-maker, he said: Residents are concerned about speaking up, even leaders.

“We couldn’t get these local pastors here,” Pendleton said.

“People are so afraid,” Saul said.

“They can’t shut me up!” Pendleton said, adding that he wants the district attorney removed, accusing him of selective prosecution.

Saul crossed the street to question a man in a Chicago Bulls jersey smoking in front of Amistad Bookplace. Chris Benard, 34, never saw the sign, but he agreed with its message.

“People got to realize we are all targets,” said Benard, who grew up in South Los Angeles and now works as a cook at the university.

Like others here, he doesn’t trust local and state investigators who, he said, “are going to protect their own.” Saul told him she’s waiting for the results of an independent autopsy the family’s lawyer has said they will pursue.

But even with an independent autopsy, Benard said, Bland still “can’t speak for herself.”

“A lot of the truth we won’t ever know,” he said.

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Posted by on July 25, 2015 in Domestic terrorism


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Plastic Patriotism And the Theft of 9-11

Krugman nails this one. There quite simply isn’t enough lipstick in the world to put on the pig conservatives and Republicans made of 9-11 to cover up the ugly.

Guliani tried to use the grief and anger over 9-11 to mount a Presidential campaign, covering up the fact that the reason so many First Responders died had to do with his own self serving decisions resulting in communications systems which failed.

Faux News and conservative brought us “United We Stand” – not as an apolitical joining of American bringing us all together with common purpose – but as a political vehicle.

George Bush dancing in a sock stuffed monkey suit across the deck of a US Carrier with the banner “Mission Accomplished”.

George Bush and Dick Cheney lying us into an illicit invasion of Iraq, with Condo’s “Mushroom cloud in the back yard” analogy, upping the ante on the 9-11 tragedy despite there never being any evidence to support Saddam having WMDs. Saddam paid for his treason against the Iraqi people… You seen anyone here yet pay for murdering 5,000 Americans and bankrupting the country in an illegitimate war whose only real beneficiaries were contracting corporations such as Dick Cheney’s who stole  at least a third of the trillion dollars America poured on the ground in Iraq.

The use of 9-11 imagery in blatant political ads.

10 years later, and despite Katrina, First Responder communications systems which are still dysfunctional and can’t talk to each other because of blatant corruption in the halls of Congress, and K street pay for play set up by Tom Delay.

Shuck and Jive, Duck and Cover… And the spending of trillions on a massive “1984” style security infrastructure that crushes Constitutional guarantees and would make the Gestapo in Nazi Germany or the KGB in Communist Russia cry with envy.

The Years of Shame

Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.




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The HNIC in More Hot Water

Uncle Mikkie got a problem on his hands…

Somebody over at the RNC leaked a memo that tells the truth about Republican fund-raising.

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Posted by on March 4, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks


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