The decline and fall of the world's biggest economy by kevin murray

The United States wants to be #1, in virtually anything that really matters, and on a lot of very important levels, such as finance, military might, and market capitalization, all of which it is recognized as being the world leader.   The problem though, that the United States has, is that the projected economic numbers do not favor their continued dominance into the foreseeable future, so that it can be said, the United States will be surpassed by China as well as India in total gross domestic product, within the coming decades, and in all probability, America will never again be able to fully run roughshod over the entire world, for the world has changed, and America as a country is far too small to be, by itself, the dominant economic force.


The main difficulty that America has to overcome is that even though America is the third most populous nation in the world, they are dominated in sheer numbers by both China as well as India of which each of these countries has over 1 billion peoples.  Further, in 1980, the GDP on a per capita basis for United States was $12,576, for China it was $309 and for India it was $276.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) for 2018, estimated the GDP on a per capita basis for the United States at $62,606 or an increase of nearly 400% since 1980; however, for China the IMF estimated their GDP on a per capita basis for China at $9,608, or an increase of just over an astonishing 3000% since 1980; and for India the IMF estimated their GDP on a per capita basis in 2018 at $2,036 or an increase of 637% since 1980. This so indicates the very obvious, which is that China and India are growing their economies at a much higher rate than America, and because their populations are so much larger than America, they will ultimately surpass America in aggregate GDP.


Further to the point, America likes to pride itself on how educated its population is, but again, as provided by the World Economic Forum, in 2016, the recent graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for America was 568,000, which is only ranked third in the world, and is actually dominated by China which graduated 4.7 million and also by India which graduated 2.6 million.  In addition, the working age population of countries is defined by the consort of those peoples in the15-64 age brackets, indicates as shown on that in America in 2015, there were 213,219 people in that category; whereas in China it was 1,007,504 and in India 859,994.


America, once had a manifest destiny, to govern this country from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but it failed to recognize that the numbers of people residing within its territory really does matter.  In fact, the population density of America does not currently even rank in the top 100 of all countries, which basically means that the United States has never come close to fulfilling the most meaningful aspect of its manifest destiny, which is to truly populate this country from sea to shining sea in the recognition that there is much strength in large numbers.  Instead, America has made it their point to deliberately stymie immigration, not seeming to recognize that without enough numbers of people within this great nation, that it will cede its crown to those countries that do have considerable more amounts of people and are desirous of taking from America what America cares not to defend; for if this country, does not live up to being that golden door to all those yearning to breathe free, its bright light will first dim, before it regrettably burns itself out. 

When the church and state are one by kevin murray

As part of the American Constitution the federal government is not permitted to establish an official governmental religion to thereby be imposed upon the population, yet, it does grant as a material right the free exercise of religion for each of its denizens.  This, in a nutshell, demonstrates that this government understands well that a citizen's personal faith is their own choice, of which this government respects that, and further, that this government does not believe that as a government it should or shall impress upon its people its own orthodox view on religion.


This thus means that per its Constitution, the church and the state, are separated, by Constitutional law, and whether one is a believer in the importance of religion and faith or not, the fact that they are separated should be considered to be a very good and prudent thing.  The reason that this is so is because when the governance of the state also controls the religion of that state, then effectively, the people are controlled from a material standpoint as well as from an ostensibly moral standpoint.  In other words, when the church and state are united, those that are not believers in that particular orthodoxy, are stuck living within a construct in which they have no material sanctuary, as well as having no religious sanctuary, and therefore their personal choice and their personal beliefs when it comes to religion, are negated; as well as their being, depending upon the structure of that government, also limited in their opportunity for gainful employment and overall liberty.


So then, when the church and state are one, the people are, by definition, oppressed, for their opportunities for personal faith have been limited, and the limiting of those in regards to their faith, is a particular nefarious form of discrimination, for the relationship between each person in regards to their God and their beliefs, should be between them, their God, and their beliefs, all without undue interference.  The reason though why the state so often has a compelling interest in their people's religious affairs and beliefs, is that all states, to a certain degree, fear their population being disloyal, and a population that has religious beliefs that may be inimical to the state, is a population that is always going to be harder to control, and consequently much harder to keep loyal to that state.


So too, many believers, are rightly concerned about their eternal destiny, so that when the state and religion are one, that type of governance, can impress upon their people, the standards that they expect from their people for the benefit of the state, in which, by meeting these particular standards, the people are instructed that they will thereby find great glory in the world to come.  Unfortunately, when the state and religion are one, the orthodoxy of such, is often corrupted to benefit those that promulgate the rules and regulations of that state, often, to the ill effect of the people, in whole. 


All of this basically means is that when the state desires to control the orthodox religious beliefs of its population, then that state has done their population a great disservice; for the greatest states are the ones that provide their people with the accouterments of liberty, free religious expression, and the fair pursuit of happiness, without the limitations of forceful state sanction imposed.

The consent of the governed by kevin murray

The Declaration of Independence, the seminal document that created this great nation, states, "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."  This is the sacred commitment that any legitimate government has to its people, for this is a country of the people, for the people, and by the people.


At the present time, it is well-nigh impossible for the people to be truly giving their consent to those so governing them, because the people are kept in the dark as to what is really going on by and through this government that ostensibly represents the people.  That is to say, this government keeps an inordinate amount of very meaningful information secret and classified from the people, supposedly because to divulge such would endanger national security, but that is the same excuse and reasoning used again and again, from all governments, good or bad, that make it their point to hide behind national security, when such is not the real reason why such information is not transparent and fairly divulged.


When any government, can routinely hide behind classified documents, and agencies of unknown budgets with unknown agendas, then the people should be extremely wary of what is really transpiring in that darkness of which they are completely unaware of, and play no part of.  When the people are not fairly and timely informed of what their government is doing both domestically and internationally, than that government is clearly not a government of the people; nor do the people have true representation through their representatives in that government,  but instead that government is a government of specially designated people, of which those special people are above the laws and principles so written of that government, that do all sorts of things, good and bad, under the cover of the national interest, though that interest, is almost surely corrupted by the very fact that it is secret, classified, and non-transparent.


No people that are being governed can ever really give their informed consent, if those people have not truly been comprehensively informed of what their government is actually doing for those people.  This so signifies, that any government, that conducts its business in such a way that the most important and vital actions are not being honestly and fully disclosed to the people is actually a counterfeit government, for that government has become in essence, a deceiver of the people, and thereby it uses the people in a manner in which, their democratic votes don't actually matter, because what is actually occurring within that governance of the most vital importance, those people have not full knowledge of and cannot prevent.


An uninformed population is a population that cannot in any meaningful way, consent to what is being governed.  In essence, a population that is ignorant of all that is occurring in secret by their government or has been deliberately misdirected by it, of which, if they were to know of, would materially impact their opinion, has not given its consent to those that govern them.   This means that all those in government as well as those institutions that work with that government that will not inform the people of that which is occurring which meaningfully impacts governmental policies, domestically as well as internationally, are in fact running a shadow government, that is not a government that the people have given their consent to.

The constant surveillance of your online life by kevin murray

Currently, about the only people that do not conduct some or most of their lives online are those senior citizens that have never opted into that world, as well as recluses that pretty much live off the grid, for even little babies are having their photos and videos posted on Facebook, or YouTube, and so on and so forth, and pretty much we find that even those that have very little material wealth, have ready access to the internet in one form or another, and typically through their smart phones.


The internet provides a wealth of information to its users, which has its value and even its necessity in conducting not only business and school transactions, but also as the way that people readily communicate with one another, of which, never has it been easier to stay in touch with people as well as to stay current on events of import than today.  In fact, the positives of the internet are quite clear and obvious, and if the internet was essentially just the conduit for information, directions, communication, and so on, the internet would be absolutely wonderful.


However, the internet as it is currently constructed, permits, encourages, and allows those that open up those internet highways  of apps, devices, and websites to essentially record, cogitate, analyze, and store all sorts of information, particular to those individuals and their individual identity.     That is to say, things that most people might consider to be private and in their control, such as their pictures posted, their emails written, their purchases made, and their social postings, are actually not only being recorded by those websites and devices, but specifically are being done so as to "know" that individual. 


If, in the knowing of a given person, the purpose was to benefit that person, and was germane to just that person, as in a doctor-patient relationship, that would be one thing, but that isn’t the way that the internet works, but rather, these websites and devices want this information so that, by knowing who and what a given individual is, that they consequently have actionable information that can be sold and exploited in one form or another.  Additionally, actionable information is absolutely a form of power, and that power, in the wrong hands, can be utilized to compromise individuals, of which the defense against such is often rather weak.


The way that the internet works today is that the entity that controls a given person's information is not that specific individual, but rather instead it is those websites and those smart devices, that record and know everything, and never do they rest in that recording, which is not the way it should be.  Each individual in a free nation, should have the right to be the captain of their own identity, so that, in effect, all internet activity, and all smart device activity, should have a "kill switch" associated with it, in which, the user by selecting that kill switch is able to have everything, without exception, to be erased from their file, and to thereby either begin again, or to simply walk away.  At least, then with a real choice, people could protect their privacy and thereby be the master of their own lives, as opposed to the reams and reams on information being stored in the skeins of time, by corporations and government entities, that often do not have the best interests in mind of those individuals, whatsoever.

Endless oppression invariably leads to riots by kevin murray

The United States has had its fair share of riots over the years, of which, those riots originate with those that are oppressed, disadvantaged, and treated unfairly, of which usually there is a seminal event, such as an assassination or the unjustified killing of a community member by the establishment's policing arm that sets it all off.


The obvious reason why it is never the rich or the elite that riot, is that when a given person or organization has everything, they are never going to riot or revolt, because they are living life at its very best; so then, unless everything of real importance that they have, is fundamentally under assault, they aren't ever going to riot or revolt, especially since, more times than not, they are the ruling class.  As for the middle class, that are experiencing a distinct taste of what life should be, in which, they are usually pretty satisfied overall with their lot, and further seldom have the time or energy to revolt or riot, because they are very busy and occupied making a living, as well as being with family and friends, of which life overall is pretty good, so that, as long as that continues, they are basically content.  As for the lower class or the underclass, as well as with those disaffected  higher-education students, they are constantly going to be sitting on some sort of tinderbox, because not only do they basically have nothing, they often have no real opportunity to ever have anything of material worth, including their self-dignity and self-esteem.  These people are discriminated against just for being disadvantaged, and essentially segregated from prosperous other peoples, as well as being consistently treated unjustly and unfairly, along with living within conditions that demonstrate in reality that they have no economic power or self-determination.  So then, when the justice arm of the state, makes it their point, that these people in order to be controlled, must be dealt with by intimidation, incarceration, and harshness, then it is only a matter of time before riots will occur, time and time again.


The United States has made the cardinal error of believing that being tough on crime, makes for better citizens, and for a safer society.  Ultimately, it never does, because it does not deal with the underlying issues that need to be addressed in a comprehensive fashion.  That is to say, those having something of real value, and further those that believe that their future is hopeful, are typically not going to want to violently strike out and to thereby burn their own neighborhoods down.  So then, when the police officers and the prosecutorial agents of the state, make it their principle, that they are going to work with the oppressed in treating them fairly, and demonstrate such in action by being a positive component of that society, along with providing real transparency to those people, then the conditions that help to foster violence, will invariably calm down.


There is a symbiotic relationship between oppression and riots, so that, the more the people are oppressed, the more riots there will be.  If this country really wants lasting and meaningful domestic peace, it needs to provide those that are the most vulnerable and impoverished, with the tools and conditions that will provide them with real meaningful opportunity and change, for good citizens are created from governments that are good and fair to all of their people.

Inequality and crime by kevin murray

According to the, the United States spends an incredible $182 billion each year on the incarceration business, of which this money includes public corrections agencies, judicial and legal institutions, policing, and so on and so forth.  So too, it can be stated, that beyond the billions that are spent on America's fractured crime and justice system, there are the lives lost, destroyed, and impaired from all those arrested, jailed and incarcerated, along with the negative impact upon their family members and friends, as well as how the criminal justice system as enacted so often impairs the good humanity of those that are part and parcel of this criminal justice incarceration industry.


The biggest reason why there are so many people that are arrested and incarcerated in America, day after day after day, has everything to do with the gross inequality that is America.  That is say, that when societies are divided into the very small elite of "haves" while also have a meaningful and disturbingly high amount of an underclass labeled as the "have not's" this thus creates the ideal conditions for crime to exist and persist because those that have nothing, and have no future to ever become something, are not going to be, more cases than not, good and productive citizens of the state.


The thing is, as virtually every school child knows, is that fairness and equality actually matters, so that school games that are played in which, the winner has already been predetermined or the rules are structured in such a way, that only the same chosen few will win, are seen for what they are, unfair and inimical to the very principles of what America is supposed to be, yet this is America in the real world, writ large.


In point of fact, the reason so much money and so many resources are spent in the criminal justice field in America, is that rather than creating the conditions in which each child in America, has the fair opportunity to be housed in a safe neighborhood, and to be schooled at an institution of learning that actually engages and teaches these children;  they are instead, often living in impoverished conclaves, of unsafe housing, and schools that are unequal and inferior in every aspect, so that these children in these communities are essentially marked for an inferior life of compromising conditions, from their inception into this world.


America is the land of the richest of the rich, and of which those that have nothing, clearly see that this country divides itself into the very privileged who have everything and are found guilty of nothing; as opposed to those, that are left with virtually none of the tools that would allow them to have even the semblance or the opportunity of a decent life, let alone a superior life, on which they are thereby designated, targeted, and marked for persecution, exploitation, as well as to be lesser objects of either shame or pity, or both, with essentially no possibility or hope of successful escape. 


Those that have nothing are not often going to be good citizens, because they know that the richest country the world has ever seen, has provided them with a very raw deal, and rather than this country ameliorating such by spending the money, industry, and time in creating the infrastructure to actually make this a country of fair opportunity for all, it would rather spend that money, instead, on an endless cycle of crime and punishment, failing to acknowledge that the only ethical way out is to provide the appropriate resources so that each of its citizens will be treated with common decency and love, rather than with shaming and total disrespect.

The rich look upon taxation as a bill to be negotiated and not as an obligation to be paid by kevin murray

The United States tax system for individuals and corporations is wholly unfair because it is structured in such a manner that those that are connected and enabled are able to again and again, circumvent the appropriate taxation of their monies so earned, so that these entities do not pay their fair share of what is supposed to be a progressive tax system.


This fully indicates that rather than creating more laws and subsequently the workarounds of those laws by clever lobbyists, attorneys, and tax accountants, that instead the United States needs to simplify their tax laws in such a manner that taxation of all, is transparent, certain, and proportionate, with appropriate penalties installed, for all those that do not pay what they are mandated to pay by those laws.


Mankind's imagination and intelligence can conceive of all sorts of ways to tax individuals and corporations, such as via a flat tax, or a progressive tax, or a consumption tax, or an inheritance tax, or a value-added tax, and so on and so forth, but what has to be preeminent within those taxing strategies is that the rules of the road of such should be inescapable and sure, for only in that manner will that taxation work in the way that it is designed to work.


So then, while most people and corporations see their taxation bill as something that must be paid; those that are the richest and most powerful, are so conditioned to throwing their weight around, as well as already having been accorded, so often, the immunities and privileges of their status, that to them, taxation, is seen always as a bill to be negotiated, or minimized, or skirted around, and almost never as a real obligation that must be paid.


It's important to understand the mindset of those that are the richest and most powerful amongst us, as those establishments, far too frequently, see themselves as being special, or as being the exception to the rule, or as being above the law, or as deserving of this or that, but in actuality these are the very institutions that need to know that they have an inherent obligation to their country to pay their fair share of taxation and without any cheating of what they legitimately owe in those taxes, and if all those that are rich and powerful, without exception, were actually to do just that, then they would in the scheme of things, despite whatever protests were made to the contrary, basically acquiesce to conforming to it.


What is undeniable, is that those that make the same income, too often, do not come close to paying the same amount of taxation, because one party "games" the system, at the expense of not only that similar party, but also at the expense of the people as a whole.  So too, when the people in general, believe that the tax system is both corrupt and unfair, then more institutions are going to cheat that system, specifically because it is unfair and that it can apparently be done with little or no consequence.  This signifies that the tax system as it is must be wholly replaced, with a new tax system that is transparent, consistent, straightforward, and fair, so that taxes are paid by the people, for the benefit of the people, through a government of the people.

The two types of regrets by kevin murray

There are two basic types of regrets, of which, the first regret is those things that you did, that you regret having done, because it was the wrong thing to do, or didn't work out the way intended, and so on and so forth; and the second type of regret is the things that you didn't do, in which, having not done those things, it eats at you at what you could have done, or should have done, and how therefore things would be so much better if they had been done.


For most people, it is the things that we should of or could have done, that gets to them, as opposed to things that were done, that shouldn't have been done.   The reason that this is so, typically is because things that have been done are done, and the consequences of those things have already been pretty much dealt with, for better or for worse.  On the other hand, things that weren't done, but should or could have been done, have a tendency to kind of haunt us, because we believe that if those things had been done, that our life as well as the lives of the relevant others would be better, but in actuality, though that might well be true, there isn't any surefire way of knowing that, since those deeds weren’t done, and that adds to the regret.


Life is about choices, and some of those choices made are going to be good choices, whereas, some of those choices, even well reasoned and intentioned one, are sometimes going to end up working out rather poorly, and because of that there will often be a choice of regret, though perhaps tinged somewhat with at least having experienced the matter, that may serve to help us in our future course of events.  So too, there are many different things that we can say or do on any given day, of which, perhaps because we are of two-minds, or are in a hurry, or selfish, or distracted, or this or that, and so on, we don't actually get around to doing something that has been especially gnawing at our conscience, and the more that we later contemplate and think upon it, the more we realize that having not done it and thereby having missed the timing of what has now become a non-event, we recognize that this probably was an error.


While you cannot change the things that have been done, you also cannot change the things that could have been done, but never got done.  The regrets of having not done something has consequences, because ultimately we are defined by what we have done and accomplished, as opposed to what we could or should have done or accomplished.  Those that know what they should do or have desired to do, and actually take the time to learn and to do those very things, are always going to be far more satisfied as compared to those that know what they ought to do, or could do, but never got around to actually expending the time to do so, and subsequently never did those very things.


Regrets for any one of us, are going to be part of living, but those that really seize and make their opportunities are going to be living a life of far less regret, then those that lack the courage and verve to make real progress and thereby to provide betterment for themselves as well as for others, because of their unbelief or lack of concerted effort.

"To secure these rights" by kevin murray

In the aftermath of World War II, a war in which America fought on the side of liberty and freedom, the President's Committee on Civil Rights was established by Executive Order 9808 on December 5, 1946.  This committee published in 1947, the document entitled "To Secure These Rights."  This document was the basis that President Truman used to end the segregation of armed forces in America, as well as to end discrimination in the Civil service system, and thereby form the foundation for integration in America at large.  As part of the seminal document four essential rights for each American citizen were enumerated.  These essential rights were:  The Right to Safety and Security of the Person, the Right to Citizenship and its Privileges, the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Expression, and the Right to Equality of Opportunity.


Remember, these rights were enumerated in 1947, and further that these rights were based upon the United States Constitution which was ratified in 1789.  This means that these rights have been with all citizens of this great nation since its inception, and further that these rights were spelt out in more detail in 1947, so that this nation could honestly assess whether or not it was living up to the lofty principles and liberties that so many had sacrificed for with blood, sweat, and tears.  Now, nearly seventy five years later from this important document, an honest assessment of these essential rights that all are entitled to must be examined.


First, the right to safety and security of the person is clearly something that this country has manifestly failed at providing for all of its citizens, as the poorest and most vulnerable are not only the ones that suffer disproportionately in being murdered, robbed, and assaulted; but so too, these are the very same people that are more often incarcerated, and are thereby stuck in an endless cycle of poverty, crime, and imprisonment.  Second, the privileges of all citizens are not equally provided, for those that are of a certain color are often discriminated against solely on the basis of that color, and further the access to the voting booth as well as the deliberate gerrymandering of boundaries within States effectively makes the votes of the un-favored class, negated, whereas those with power and influence, have their votes inflated.  Third, the right to speak one's mind is assaulted from so many different sides, in which those that speak most of tolerance are often the most intolerant of those that are "politically incorrect;" in addition to the demands of certain forces that those of faith are not entitled to have that faith expressed except within the confines of their church or their own private space.  Fourth, while great strides have been made in opportunity for those of all different faiths and colors, the power structure of this country is primarily built around the same power structure that it has been for eons, which is the privileged class of those that have immense wealth and considerable power, that therefore invariably favors those elite few at the expense of the people.


In summary, the rights of all Americans have not been secured.  They weren't secured in 1789, they weren't secured in 1947, and they still aren't secure in 2019.  If, America, was to truly live up to its liberating Constitution and what that Constitution espouses to be than it would not be a country of the superrich as well as the military-industrial-technology elite ruling the roost, but instead it would be the egalitarian society that it was always supposed to be, for all peoples, black or white, rich or poor, protestant or Jewish, all living well in a country of justice, liberty, and freedom.

The you, and the real you by kevin murray

People communicate with each other in all sorts of ways, such as verbally, by writing, by sight, by sound, by touch, and by smell.  In all of these ways, when two people frequently get together, if they are really paying attention to one another, they use some or most of these various ways to get to know the other person at a level which is far beyond cursory, and is typically classified as intimate.   However, as good as people can be in noticing the big things as well as the very vital little things about one another, they are limited to how much that they can really know about someone by virtue of the fact that they are not inside that other person's mind or that other person's thoughts.


That is to say, people from time-to-time will say one thing but inside their mind, they will be thinking the very opposite thing or a contradictory thing.  So too, the thoughts that people express in their minds about others or even about themselves can vary from being very positive and beneficial to being very negative and hurtful.  Most people keep thoughts that are contradictory or hurtful within their mind and seldom express them to someone that they really care about, except when they lose their temper or are under an immense amount of stress in which, those thoughts are expressed out loud, and often expressed with some real regret.


So too, within most people are thoughts that are very private, so private, that they are reluctant to express those thoughts out loud, although, if these thoughts are a strong component of their true persona, they may leak out in their words so spoken and actions taken.  However, a lot of people make it their point, that even with those that they are closest to, that they will not express certain thoughts, or certain stories, or certain things, because they fear that if they do, the person that they care so much about, will change their opinion or their feelings about them, and they do not wish to gamble with losing their respect, or love, or company.


This signifies, that those that live within a construct in which they are forever hiding who and what they really are, in order to project something that is not fully true are often doing so, out of the fear that those that they are closest to, would not love them if they knew who they really were.  While it is true, that people should not necessarily be an open book to everyone, for intimate secrets and thoughts, can be and have been used to hurt and to debilitate people; it is also true that those that fear that they will not be accepted by their best and truest friend, if they knew who they really were, are basically saying that they fear that the love and respect so expressed to them, is a qualified love, which is based only upon something that fundamentally is not wholly true.


The best way then to deal with this conundrum, is to test the waters of that love, by disclosing some of those thoughts to your closest confidant, and to thereby adjudge their reaction forthwith; for if such is responded to with judgment and condemnation, then proper discretion of any further disclosure is probably the best course to steer, in recognition that true love, judges not, is unconditional, and wills the good of the other.  For it is important to acknowledge as well as to remember that if your best friend cannot see themselves in you, and your weaknesses as their own, then they are hiding their own true identity from you.

The pack mentality on killing by kevin murray


Even for well trained soldiers it isn't easy for those soldiers, except for sociopaths, to overcome their natural inclination not to kill another human being, even when that person has been designated as the "enemy" to kill.  Of course, the generals, superior officers, and the military infrastructure are well aware of this, and are often able to mitigate such concerns, but demonizing the enemy in a manner in which that enemy is seen as subhuman or less than human, or basically anything other than a human, in which the killing of something that is not human is a far shorter hurdle for most to overcome.  So too, the military is very good about impressing upon its soldiers the necessity of defending the honor of a nation, or its people, or its institutions and thereby helping to encourage those soldiers to do the necessary killing in order to defeat an avowed dangerous enemy.


All that being said, in actuality, the real reason, more times than not, that soldiers that are supposed to kill, actually get around to doing that killing against fellow soldiers or enemy combatants, has a lot to do with the fact that soldiers are placed into various units such as platoons, troops, regiments, squadrons, or batteries in which these groups of soldiers become identified with, for example, a particular platoon, which has been designated typically by a name and number such as the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, of which these soldiers know each other because they trained together, and are perhaps from the same hometown, or social background.  This signifies that soldiers that are part of a platoon, for instance, have an obligation to do right by that platoon, and therefore when those soldiers are sent out to fight and to kill, those soldiers aren't just going out to fight and to kill as individual soldiers, but are part of a platoon that know each other, and therefore are far more inclined to take part in the killing of enemy soldiers, and to defend their fellow soldiers while doing so, because of their responsibility and their answerability to their fellow soldiers, over and above, the pertinent chain of command.


That is to say, soldiers that are in a group that has trained together, eaten together, and slept together, are a group of soldiers that have a vested interest in each other, and because of that vested interest in each other, they will do their duty, so as to not be disgraced or to letdown their fellow soldiers in the field of battle, even though, they, individually, may be conflicted about killing other soldiers or enemy combatants.  This means, that most soldiers have a sense of duty not so much to their family, which cannot be cognizant of what is really going on in the field of battle, nor to their country which is too amorphous to actually get a hold of in the heat of a battle, nor necessarily to their chain of command, because that chain of command simply can't know for a certainty all that is going on in real time, but rather they recognize that their true duty is to their fellow soldiers of their group, that they will therefore do right by them, for they are fellow brothers in arms, and so it will be kill or be killed, and to do what must be done, so as to not suffer shame or disgrace, but receive instead, honor and respect from those that know them, best.

Credit card float by kevin murray

The thing about credit cards, unlike let's say a debit card, or a check, or even cash, is a credit card when utilized is literally extending credit to the user of that card.  This means, that while a debit card, or a check, or cash pretty much are an immediate expenditure of money of which when used, the money basically leaves from the associated account or wallet, a credit card is truly a different proposition.  That is to say, when a credit card is used, those transactions are duly recorded, then, at the end of the billing cycle period, of usually about 30 days, a bill is created, and thereby the charges made during that billing period, are due back to the issuer of that credit card, usually in about 20-25 days from the issuance of the bill.  However, unlike cash that is immediately debited from a checking account or similar, those that have credit cards, actually do not have to pay off their credit card bill in full, in fact, as long as the credit card payer meets the minimal payment required by the date so required, they are thereby extended credit, of which, for having that credit extended, an interest rate is both accrued and charged.


Now, when it comes to credit card float, this essentially works for those that enough capital in their banking account in a manner in which by the user knowing when their billing date closes on a particular credit card, such as June 1, that come June 2 they can start charging on that credit card, recognizing that those charges starting from June 2, aren't actually going to come due until perhaps July 24.  This so indicates that those that use their credit cards in a manner in which they purposely make the charges on their credit cards immediately after the previous billing cycle ended, they then do not have to pay off in full those charges, until 50-55 days later, and therefore have effectively had credit "floated" at no interest cost for them over those 50-55 days, which is known as credit card float.


This signifies that the savvy credit consumer, utilizes the credit card float system in a manner in which this can benefit them, and can do so, with even more than one credit card, so that there is always a considerable distance in time between a charge and the necessity of paying off in full that charge.  That is to say, in matters large and small, those that get free loans floated to them, whether that is through a credit card, or through a promotion, or the equivalency, are using their financial acumen to essentially get interest free loans of short duration again and again and again.  In addition, those that play the credit card float game correctly, are able therefore to not be stuck having to wait to make their expenditures until they receive their paycheck but can organize their expenditures around the free credit card float that they have properly set up for that very purpose.


They say there is no such thing as free money, but actually there is.  Today's credit card companies issue many credit cards with no annual fees, often with come-on bonuses to sign up for that credit card, as well as generous credit card rewards for using their credit cards, with consumers also having the ability to use credit card float to their advantage.  Of course, in order for all of this to work, consumers must know their credit card billing cycles, and must also maintain a proper budget so that they are not stuck paying high interest rates on the credit that has been extended to them, but those that do, surely benefit from that knowledge well applied.

The dangerous concentration of wealth and the slowing of the United States economy by kevin murray

The United States has proven that it cannot grow at even 3% on a per annum basis, and this despite a decade of economic expansion.  While there are many reasons for this, one of the most obvious ones is that the concentration of wealth held in the hands of the very richest of the richest Americans is such a staggering amount of money that if just the three richest Americans, of which according to Forbes magazine of February 2019, those three Americans are worth $310.4 billion, were somehow to magically have their money appear, instead, in the hands of all those that are currently living in poverty in America, which is estimated at 39.7 million peoples, than each of those persons would have in their hands $7819.  Not too surprisingly, if that money was to show up in the hands of those suffering from the most debilitating poverty, those people would make it their point to primarily spend that money on consumer goods, paying back bills, on their transportation, dental, medical, and so on and so forth, of which all of this money so spent would help boost the economy.


The fundamental problem with all the wealth in America being concentrated into so very few hands, is that those that have that wealth, are not going to spend much of it, and often do not invest that money in any meaningful way that would definitively impact employment in a positive way or increase the consumption of consumer goods, because rich people only have so many mouths to feed and only so many houses that they can buy, before really they have pretty much everything that they need or might desire.  On the other hand, poor people lack just about everything, so that, factories and manufacturers in America are never going to be running at true full capacity because those that have the money, don't have any reason to overbuy what they are producing and manufacturing, so these factories and manufacturers produce less than they could or ought to.


The current mindset of dealing with this overconcentration of wealth appears basically to do a whole lot of nothing.  This means that those that lack ready money are forced to borrow through their credit cards, through their student loans, through their homes, and through payday lenders, in order to achieve some sort of semblance of a proper American life, but all of this borrowing for those that really do not have the ready means to pay back that money is just kicking the can down the road, and isn't helping to fundamentally alleviate the poverty problem.


If America really cared about the poor as well as the impoverished, they would spend a lot less time exploiting and incarcerating them, and a lot more time creating the conditions that would allow at least future generations to have a fair shot at being successful.   That would necessitate wholesale changes in addressing the insane concentration of wealth in America, which only benefits those that are superrich at the expense of the very poor and most vulnerable; as well as unfairly overburdening the middle class so that they pay more than their fair share in taxes and services, as well as unjustly pinning future generations with staggering loads of federal debt because this government will not properly tax the very people that have the money to get our fiscal house in order.

It's always about that status by kevin murray

The reason that so many people feel a need to keep up with the Joneses in life is that they do not want to see themselves as being essentially the "losers" in what so often is seen as a zero-sum world.  That is to say, if one's neighbor has a better car, a better job, a better yard, and a better this and a better that, this often is perceived as lessening one's own self not only in the eyes of others, but more importantly in our own eyes, and in the eyes of our closest family members, for our status vis-à-vis those neighbors indicates that we are the lesser, and they are therefore the greater.


While philosophers can try to assuage people's egos by encouraging us to get a good perspective so as to appreciate many other things that should be considered as a blessing, such as good health, a safe environment, a loving family, as well as perceiving the actuality of how rich we are in comparison to other people and other cultures, with also the understanding that it isn't really the toys that we do or do not have, but the character that we are that truly defines us.  All of this, though, is some small consolation, for those that measure things by the obvious and the material, and do not care about what may be happening in some other community, city, state, or principality.  For what matters for these folks, is the here and now, of what one has in comparison to their neighbors and to their peers, and therefore second best or even worse, is not acceptable, and thereby one sees their neighbor that is more successful often with outright bitterness and debilitating envy.


When we are not successful in the manner that we are able to project it unequivocally to others, then we are not going to be happy; no matter how it might actually seem to be, to objective outsiders.  This means, that our status matters, and it matters most particularly to those that are our true competitors in the sense that they live in the same neighborhood or the same milieu, or went to the same school, or of the same age, or basically are what most people would consider to be a fair and apt comparison to us, all fair things considered.  So that, when those people outclass us, and have greater success and a higher status, then we have failed; we have not only failed ourselves but we have failed our family and have failed our truest friends, and we thereby wear our failure by the shame we feel for having failed everyone.


This is the very reason why so many people go to great lengths to "keep up appearances" because they refuse to place themselves in the unenviable position of having failed to maintain their status and therefore having lost the respect of their peers.  So then, to alleviate that shame of failure or of losing face, people will push the envelope to regain the status that they need to project, of which some, will do so by any means necessary, and those nosey folks that make the mistake of "outing" those that have failed to faithfully maintain their good status, have opened the door to the unexpected and sometimes violent retribution of those that will not easily accept being publically shamed.

Overcome your problems by kevin murray

Though there are many people that in their weaker moments, wished that they lived lives in which never a problem or challenge would occur in their personal experiences, in actuality, a life without challenges or problems to overcome, is a life that would after a while appear to be rather dull.  That is to say, it is the challenges and problems that life presents, that truly provides the good opportunity for a given individual to test their real mantle against those situations, and thereby helps to clarify and to define that person as to who and what they really are in actuality.


Unfortunately, far too many people when faced with challenges and problems have a strong tendency to wish to avoid such, often, by any means available.  For some, they do so because they do not believe that they have the wherewithal or the character to confront and to overcome a particular problem; whereas for others, they wish to avoid these problems because they feel that they are not prepared to deal with them at that particular time and place.  Then there are others, that simply believe to run from, or to escape from a good challenge or problem is the best way to react, especially when they find out that doing so, basically seems to work out for them in more cases than not, so that, for them, that evasion or escape, seems to be a viable answer, even if by doing so, they have sacrificed something of value, in order to effect that escape.


Somewhat regrettably, the mere running away or escaping somehow, from a particular challenge or problem is not going to resolve that problem or challenge, but rather, will simply put off until tomorrow that problem or challenge that either must yet be faced, or conceded to.  The thing is most people do not give themselves enough credit in their ability to confront as well as to overcome a particular problem or challenge, perhaps, because they lack the character or faith to believe that they are quite capable of overcoming such.


In point of fact, the challenges and problems that each of us face, are there as the opportunity to prove in action and reaction, our real worth and grit, and to thereby to simply run away from, or to ignore such, is not only a rather poor and somewhat cowardly response, but clearly also can be seen as character weakness.  This means that each of us needs to show the courage to face what must be faced, sooner or later, for to believe that half-hearted people are somehow going to be accorded full respect and emulation by others, is a falsehood.


This signifies, that while challenges and problems need not be welcomed in our life, that they should, however, and must be seen, as the very basis of who and what we are fairly defined by; especially in regards to our ability or inability to overcome them in one way or one form or another.  So then, rise up and face those challenges and those problems, of which, often one will find that by doing so, they weren't really quite the bogeyman so imagined, but even when they do seem intractable, keep on keeping on, for nothing really worthwhile does not come without the expenditure of the truest blood, sweat, and tears.

When transitory becomes permanent by kevin murray

We live in an age in which every conversation, even when someone is just talking to themselves, is capable of being recorded, unwittingly or not.  Nowadays, smart phones are ubiquitous, which can audio or video record anyone at a simple touch of a button. In addition, smart personal assistants such as Alexa, or Siri, can listen in to everything that we say and are always-on.  In so many ways, we are surrounded by devices that can record all of our auditory activities, and often too by devices that can record our video motions as well.


Human beings are by nature social creatures that have a need to interact with other human beings, in which, not everything that is said or done by those people is something that should or needs to be recorded for posterity.  Additionally, people do all sorts of embarrassing things, regretful things, and stupid things, whether in a fit of anger, or disappointment, or by virtue of just having one of those days, of which, it isn't fair or right for those people involved in such, that they should be recorded having done so, without their express knowledge, beforehand.


The answer to all of these devices that can record and often do record so many things, appropriate or not, isn't necessarily the issuance of full disclosure that these happenings are being recorded in real time, for that in itself, would have a strong tendency to stifle open dialog, spontaneity, and the ability to openly engage with other people in a manner in which people can be their real selves, as well as it would likely have a strong tendency to get more people to conform to social norms, and to censor themselves, at least, in those areas in which such recordings are prevalent.


The answer, instead, is the recognition that when any and everything is allowed to be recorded, then essentially what use to be transitory, has for all intents and purposes, has become permanent, and that permanence is destructive towards the good relationships that people need to have with one another.  That is to say, when anything that is recorded, can be taken out of context, can be edited, and can be displayed in social media or similar, without the party in question, having their own say in the matter, then the end result is that real personalities of people are going to be stifled and suppressed, and they will only be able to be their real self, if that, when they are away from being recorded.


Not everything that is said is meant to be recorded, and not everything that is done, is meant to be recorded.  Human beings are fallible, and because they are fallible, they should be accorded the courtesy of being able to say and to do things that are relevant for that time and place, but are not relevant for all time and for all places.  For everything there is a season, and just because technology presents mankind the opportunity to record, collate, analyze, and post just about everything that occurs, meaningful or not, does not mean it is right to do it, and that it should be done.  Instead, it must be recognized that some things, perhaps most things, are meant to be impermanent and fleeting, and thereby to take what is transitory and brand it as permanent, is a grand disservice to all.

Be good by kevin murray

Mankind wishes to make life far more complicated and stressful then it really needs to be, for in the scheme of things, a good life really comes down to being good and doing good deeds for others.  That is to say, if doing the right thing was foremost in everybody's mind to begin with, and thereby one really lived their life in a manner in which the right and good things were done on a consistent as well as a daily basis, then this world would be a far more pleasant place for far more people to be an integral part of.


Far too many people get caught up into dogma, and find themselves enslaved to the concept of the letter of the law, while forgetting that what supersedes all good laws, spiritual or manmade, is not the letter of it, but the spirit of the law, all in accordance with God's good law.  For instance, when it comes to mankind's law, there are all sorts of clever lawyers that are able to twist and turn a given law and to manipulate such, so that what is crystal clear now devolves into shades of gray, all for the purpose of circumventing that law, as if fairness should somehow bow to cleverness, which it should not.  As for spiritual laws, these are meant for the benefit of mankind, and should not be blindly obeyed or adhered to, without forethought, as well as having each individual take the time to achieve a good understanding of the principles of that law, in which, too often those that interpret that law, as if they are that law, do so in a manner that bestows upon them, certain privileges and immunities, as if they are the law originators, whereas they are themselves subject to that same law, properly interpreted, with a clear understanding that it is the spirit of the law, that trumps over a given literal translation of the law, for the scripture itself, is filled with parables and analogies.


The doing of good often comes down to seeing yourself in the other person's shoes, and in recognition that every human life has value and it is our sacred responsibility therefore to uphold that value, by being forgiving, by being understanding, by being generous, and by caring.  That is to say, an eye for an eye is never going to be the good response, for that truly is a zero-sum game, in which neither party advances, though perhaps things could be looked upon as evening up by doing so.  On the other hand, those that are able to take their enemies and haters, and through their consideration, love, and respect, have those enemies and haters, eventually become their friends, have taken what once was a negative and turned it around for the good and benefit of both parties.


It's easy to hate, it's easy to destroy, and it's easy to be selfish, for all of that originates from frustrated desires, and frustrated egos.  Whereas, to love takes patience, kindness, and empathy; to create takes multiple hands working together as one; and to be unselfish necessitates the quieting down of the ego and recognition that all have inherent value that should be embraced and recognized.  Those that when they are given a choice, do good for others, are themselves good; and those that do not, are not.  Therefore, be good.

The surveillance state of Facebook masking as social media by kevin murray

Not only is Facebook the most pervasive and far reaching "social media "site in the history of the internet, but its profitability, was over $22 billion in fiscal year 2018, and its market capitalization was of May 3, 2019, $558 billion; of which those gaudy numbers emit from the fact that Facebook states that 2.7 billion people use the Facebook family of services, which makes Facebook a truly gargantuan, ubiquitous, and awesome site.  But is Facebook, and its family of services, of Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger, in which all of these formats are provided free to the user, actually a social media site, especially in consideration that its sales were $55.8 billion in 2018, or is Facebook masquerading as a social media site, but is actually in effect, a surveillance site?


Facebook makes almost all of its money, and accounts for almost all of its revenue from advertising.  The main reason why Facebook can garner in all of this advertising money is that Facebook, in the structure of its format, knows its clients, better than those client's friends or even their spouses.  That is to say, as reported by the, researchers discovered that simply "... using nothing but the subject’s Facebook activity," that their algorithm was more accurate in predicting that person's personality traits than any of the human participants, needing "… just 10 likes to beat a work colleague, 70 to beat a roommate, 150 to beat a parent or sibling, and 300 to beat a spouse."  That is to say, without even using the information that Facebook has aggrandized, correlated, and processed in regards to a client's entire Facebook page, but by merely reading in the likes of that client, the algorithm was better at predicting the true personality traits of that client, simply from those Facebook likes.


Additionally, and the reason why advertisers spend so much money with Facebook, is the fact that Facebook remembers and keeps virtually everything ever posted about each of its clients and their activity.  For instance, Facebook facial recognition software is so good, it knows to properly tag their clients in photos.  Also, every ad that has ever been click on in a client's Facebook page, is noted, dated, and stored at Facebook, which is of tremendous value to advertisers.  Facebook knows your geo-location, it knows every single contact that has been made at some point with other people on Facebook, and it also knows every single social event ever attended by its clients when that is done through using Facebook.  It knows every friend, that has ever been befriended on Facebook, including the specific date when the client became friends, those that have been unfriended, and the time, date, and IP address of every log-in to Facebook.  Facebook has a copy of every message sent or received while on Facebook, as well as every photo ever pasted onto Facebook. Basically, everything that is posted by its clients, Facebook keeps, as well as keeping the time, date, and geo-location of those postings, in addition to knowing the exact age and likes of the clients that use the Facebook website.


While Facebook will decry that all these postings and the usage of Facebook are voluntarily done, what they will not readily admit to is the fact that virtually all of this information is fundamentally used to sell salient portions of it to advertisers.  The reason that Facebook keeps, collates, and processes everything about a given Facebook page is to monetize that information for its own enormous financial benefit.  So then, rather than being a social media site, which helps connect and keep connected friends and family with one another, Facebook is actually a pervasive and relentless surveillance site which knows everything about you, so as to better exploit you.

The land in where justice is denied and where poverty is enforced by kevin murray

In 1886, the great abolitionist and statesmen Frederick Douglass said, "The American people have this lesson to learn: That where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."  Now, here it is, 135 years later, and has anything really and fundamentally changed?


For instance, justice is denied each and every day, in so many ways, large and small, especially for all those that are not the favored people of those that are the rulers of such.  That is to say, those that lack money and do not have consistent, nor have sustainable, nor have adequate compensation to make a fair living, are at the mercy of those that set and apply the rules against them.   So that, in America, there are laws upon laws, that effectively criminalize those that are poor, ill-educated and typically cordoned off into the most undesirable and unsafe living conditions, so that they can be more easily monitored, controlled, arrested, and incarcerated.  So too, in the richest nation of the world, there remains as reported by as of 2016, a staggering "40.6 million people" living in poverty as defined by federal guidelines of that poverty threshold, which signifies that 12.7% of Americans live below that poverty threshold. Those that live in poverty seldom choose to do so, but are trapped within a construct in which their lack of opportunity,  their ill-education, their disabilities, and the lack of decent infrastructure for them makes it a foregone conclusion that such poverty is inescapable for so many.  So too, despite the Supreme Court decision of 1954, of Brown v. Board of Education, those that live in desirable areas, have schools that are safe, as well as teachers and curriculum that educate students, whereas those of the underclass while being permitted to attend schools, find that far too often those schools, are unsafe, and are institutions that do not provide a good or even fair environment for the proper education of those students.  While, America prides itself on having a progressive income tax system which theoretically is structured in a manner in which those that earn more are taxed more; in actuality, the very richest of individuals as well as corporate entities, do not come close to ever being progressive taxed at a fair rate, but instead are gifted at finding loopholes, foundations, subsidies, and special as well as favorable tax breaks and tax treatments, so that, even Warren Buffet, one of the top three richest Americans ,recognizes this unfairness, by stating  in 2011 that his taxes amounted to "only 17.4 percent of my taxable income…"


Quite clearly, America is unequal, unfair, and illiberal in its policies which is proven by the fact that America, is the industry leader in incarceration in comparison to all other western nations, in which, as reported by, the incarceration rate in America is 655 per 100,000 peoples, for a total prison population of 2,121,600.   All of this leads us inexorably to the point that Frederick Douglass inveighed upon 135 years ago, which is that when a country makes it their principle to deny justice, to enforce poverty, as well as to ill-educate a significant portion of its population, and further demonstrates in its institutions that this is a country primarily of the very rich, by the very rich, and for the very rich, then those that are oppressed and exploited, are quite obviously going to act out in ways that are inimical to those that effectively run this country, and those impoverished people will be dealt with in a manner that resolves nothing, ameliorates nothing, but does it best to silence, and to effectively ignore them.

Government of the people, by the people, and for the people by kevin murray

The primary purpose of good governance is for the people to join together in a body politic, so that this community of people can therefore come together to accomplish tasks, duties, and obligations that would not be done as well or even could be done in their separate or individual capacities.  That is to say, people voluntarily join together so as to create societies meant for the greater good of those people, so that those people can prosper, be protected, establish justice, and to ensure domestic tranquility, for all of those people so gathered together as one.


Unfortunately, despite the fact that the Constitution as well as the Declaration of Independence were written with the best of intent to ensure that this would be a country of, by, and for the people, the actual results do not indicate that this is the case.  For instance, when governmental rules and regulations, protections, taxation, and favoritism are acted upon and created in particular to specifically favor one corporate interest or a conglomeration of certain corporate interests at the expense of the people and/or undesired competition then this is a misuse of governmental influence.  So too, when that government which is sworn to the highest duty to protect its homeland, creates departments of defense and institutions of secrecy that the people as well as their representatives appear to have little salient impact or knowledge upon, and have not provided to those people true transparency and a fair accounting of what is occurring, of which the people are lacking in the ability to be involved in any meaningful decision making, then that defense department and its subsidiaries have become a law onto its own.   Additionally, a justice department that is truly fair and ethically valid, can only occur when that justice is rendered in a manner that all applicable laws are equally applied to all citizens in which that law can never be bought, circumvented, ignored, or countermanded, but is instead, upheld by the upmost integrity of those that are part and parcel of that institution.  Finally, a country that is founded on egalitarian principles, of which that country is no respecter of persons, recognizes that unequal and effectively segregated communities and institutions, are an anathema towards domestic tranquility, fairness, opportunity, and liberty, so that an legitimate government  would not ever countenance such.


So that, when that government makes it their point to play favorites in which some will prosper at the expense of the many, as well as to protect the rights of some at the expense of the many, in addition to often selling their purported fair justice to the highest bidder, and also deliberately creating rules and regulations that ensures that there will never be domestic tranquility because of the exploitation by the few against the many, then such a country as that, with a government behaving as that, is no country of life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, but rather it is its very opposite.


There is no greater force than government, for it is government and its institutions that either directly or indirectly control what isn't or is allowed, and how things will or will not work, because that government is effectively the military muscle and the might, the legislature, the justice department, and the executive branch, combined; so that when that government is not actually made up of the people, by the people, and for the people, then it is a false government and illegitimate, because it is not the government of, by, and for the people.