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  1. #1021
    Senior Member Fred Steeves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    Fred, the part that people outside the US find utterly crazy is that you would need to or even want to carry a concealed handgun on you at all times. Unless you are an anti-terrorist agent or someone in danger of being assassinated, it is a sign of insanity to want to walk around with a deadly weapon at all times. I mean that quite literally.

    I know it has been normalised in the US, but it is a sign of mass mental illness.

    In many European countries, such as the UK or Norway, even police don't carry weapons on them. Most don't even have tasers.

    It is only in failed states and broken societies, where the rule of law has broken down, that people feel the need to carry weapons on them, let alone deadly ones, not to mention actual military weapons, like machine guns, as many in the US do.

    This is why I am not very hopeful as regards what might happen if this slow-moving right-wing coup that has been going on for a number of years, actually succeeds in gaining power. It really will be very much like the fictional fascist takeover in Handmaid's Tale.

    Could there be a civil conflict?

    I used to think so, but now I actually seriously doubt it. Why? Because the left is impotent and mostly unarmed. They'll be like helpless little lambs when the crazy right-wing militia types start putting them in their place. It will be probably, swift, short and brutal, after which all Americans will live in a fascist dictatorship, with vigilante justice and armed militias patrolling the streets, shooting undesirables at a whim. I really don't see how that outcome could be avoided at this point.
    Hey Chris. It's always interesting to hear input from the outside looking in. A couple from England we are friends with came to visit and stayed with us a few years ago. He was very curious about it, and asked me to take him to the range to teach him how to shoot. If he was seeing signs of mental illness in me, he keeps it to himself anyway.

    Hey listen man it's not Mad Max here, and there's no one walking the streets with machine guns, you have to obtain a special license to obtain one, and you certainly can't go running around with it. This society, for the most part anyway, is a very polite one, even if we are mentally ill. You would never even know there are average people walking around with a gun, or have one handy right below the cash register they are tending, in their car console, or whatever. If you weren't already pre warned you'd never have a clue.

    Do you know why I started carrying back in 2003? Some guy walked into the local Radio Shack store, stuck a pistol straight between the cashier's eyes, and pulled the trigger. Somehow it didn't kill him, but he's blind as a bat for the rest of his life. That pissed me off so bad, I decided right there and then I was going to be someone who could potentially stop something like that from happening. I've been that person ever since, grabbing the old pistola on the way out the door is no different than grabbing the car keys. So yes, for sure it's normalized, but people like me who carry don't consider themselves mentally ill, they consider actions like that guy at Radio Shack mentally ill.

    Here's our view looking out: Remember that rampage in Paris a few years ago, guys running around gunning people down at will even though guns are highly illegal? It's that if the bad guy wants a gun bad enough he's gonna get one, and if the good guy close by maybe had a gun of his own, maybe he could have stopped it before it got too far.

    Soooo then, to a possible right wing coup. I posted a video here years ago showing a short conversation between me and a certain hardware store owner. It's a couple of towns on down the line, the guy is a Baptist minister, and one day our local paper ran a story on that this guy had put a sign up on his store front saying "No Gays Allowed". Well I just had to go talk to him, and got his permission to video tape it on my phone.

    Let me tell you it was quite the experience, and one I'll never forget! I just started out by asking him about his sign, and flop, out came his fucking Bible OMG! He took us to Romans 1 to prove where his authority to do this came from:
    Romans 1:27-29
    King James Version
    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    Anyone who doesn't know what "reprobate" means, it ain't pretty:

    Abbreviated
    reprobate adjective
    Definition of reprobate (Entry 2 of 3)
    1a: morally corrupt : DEPRAVED
    b: foreordained to damnation
    4archaic : rejected as worthless or not standing a test : CONDEMNED
    1: to condemn strongly as unworthy, unacceptable, or evil
    reprobating the laxity of the age
    2: to refuse to accept : REJECT
    3: to foreordain to damnation
    As our conversation went on, I realized the locals were gathering to the side and in back of me standing at the counter paying very close attention, and as he read and preached could be heard the occasional "here here!", or "amen!". It was almost like something out of a Steven King novel, with the small country town following the crazy preacher who hates anyone not just like him.

    So anyway we DID keep it a polite conversation, went on to talk a bit about the Constitution a bit, and parted ways. I told my wife something along the lines of "people like him had better not ever get their hands on any real power in this country". I could easily see them arm banding, and eventually rounding up of the undesirables just like you spoke of. Until Captain Chaos and his merry men came along doing their thing, especially during the 2020 election fiasco, I couldn't really imagine how this could ever happen. But then I "saw" it as described above, I saw how it could possibly begin to happen, and it was and still is frightening to the core.

    I think the numbers now would still be wildly insignificant to cause any deep rooted trouble. What worries me is this undying devotion to Trump is like a fever, it's not well reasoned out, and if thinking starts getting too muddled and blinded by things like the Bible, patriotism, and dear leader type of thought, the sentiments of "who are the undesirables?" may well not seem so extreme any more. Mob mentality sort of thing setting in. The fever.

    So anyway there's nothing Mad Max going on here yet, no jeeps with mounted machine guns lol, but if the fever spreads and catches a good spark, that could conceivably change. The real question might be how much does it spread to the Average Joe like myself? I had to run into a gas station yesterday, and there was a big 4x4 pickup truck flying three huge flags from its tailgate. There was "Fuck Joe Bide" and "Trump 2024", with the American flag in the middle. The truck was empty so he must be inside, there were several people in there, a guy here, a guy there, two guys talking to each other, and waiting in line I was wondering "which one of you guys thinks like this, and so proudly?"

    That's likely the kind of guy who's very susceptible to "the fever", or maybe he's already got it but is thus far asymptomatic.

    But rest assured law and order has not broken down here in the States. Not yet anyway.

    Interestingly, there's also a middle way seems to slowly be gaining traction, that is the typical divorce situation of separating the parties with irreconcilable differences. That is namely, to basically separate the country in two between red states and blue states. As best I understand it would actually be two separate nations. People like me would be kinda fucked. There's some things I prefer red state, and others I prefer blue state, that would be a hell of a choice!

    It would beat a civil war though... I have no idea how this thing can be reconciled though. Essentially we have MSNBC and FOX NEWS bitching about and at the other, and no one's gonna give an inch. They're the ring leaders, we have to choose which one is speaking complete truth, which one is a conniving back stabbing liar, and follow the truth teller. Ain't no middle ground.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.

    Socrates

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  3. #1022
    Senior Member Hungary
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    Thanks Fred.

    I also appreciate your viewpoint, especially with you being in a Southern State, that's really quite valuable.

    I'll correct myself there, it's not the individuals who carry guns that are insane, but the society that forces them to.

    Of course, in failed states this is quite common. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, people with machine guns and vigilantes were a common sight in neighbouring Ukraine, in some places, they still are. There was a brief lawless period in the nineties even here in Hungary, where shootings did happen and getting an illegal gun was ridiculously easy. The point is, this should only really happen in a collapsing society or a failed state. Any well-functioning society doesn't need guns, certainly for the general population, but even police can forego carrying guns in some cases. It just makes everyone feel safer and less on the edge.

    However, don't think for a minute that the US is "safe" in any meaningful sense. Not by the standards of other developed countries. Murder rates are more similar to what you'd find in South Africa or Latin America as opposed to Europe or East Asia. Four of the top twenty most dangerous cities in the world are in the US. I don't think there has been a single case of a police officer shooting someone dead, whether armed or unarmed in my lifetime, in the whole country of Hungary, and we're not considered rich or developed. That is normal. Daily murders by police (even if justified, whatever that means in that context) are not.

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  5. #1023
    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    I get your point, but we're talking about a far-right takeover or coup here. Once that is completed, there would be a purge, so that everyone who isn't sufficiently faithful to the cause, would be removed from the police and military. Right-wing militias (I think they're around 5 million strong at last count, probably the biggest group of armed people anywhere in the world, including the Chinese military) would unofficially support the takeover process. When they're done with the purge, only those on the far right will have any real power.

    Sure, there would be some resistance, but the danger here is that there wouldn't be enough of it, because this time around, they're going to do it properly and won't try half-measures.
    5 million? Is that world-wide?
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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  7. #1024
    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    Well, this is old school but my older brother has had two Thompson's and an Uzi for years...this doesn't include all his handguns of which includes a pair of replica pearl handled General Patton pistols, several military style .45's etc. Shotfuns, of course, etc.

    He's the wannabe fascist, still loves Goldilocks.

    One of my nephews has hunting bows, hi powered rifles, handguns and a ready supply of home-made bombs. Our rallying cry post-collapse, "I'm coming in hot!" (Formulated a month or two after the 2016 election) (I don't want to forget his favorite outfit ... fatigues)... His son just joined the Navy but was dissuaded from joining the marines because ... well, because he is essentially a sissy ... I don't mean that in unkind way ... he is a great kid.

    Me? I don't believe in unnecessary death ... but if push comes to shove ... "I'm gonna be hot also". Once upon a time I had a scoped rifle that I really loved...social attitudes changed and I ended up selling it out of shame and forever regretted in truth ... I find myself spending more time at the gun counter at Walmart every time I shop there, particular since my daughter has her own apartment now. I'm sure I know people that could get me anything I like ... but no, I'm not ready for that.
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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  9. #1025
    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    In the U.S. someone would have to have a death wish if while working in a convenience store they were not well armed. And I mean well armed.

    My sister-in-law's Uncle, a retired fireman in Albuquerque, New Mexico was shot point blank in the head multiple times while closing a video store for no other reason than a gang initiation, no robbery. He survived but lost an eye in the ordeal.

    Most statistics will demonstrate that a good guy with a gun will not react quickly enough or appropriately to stop a 'sudden' crime. On occasion it will happen but it is more than luck than anything. Most police would be overjoyed to have guns on the street removed from their daily calculus.
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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  11. #1026
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    Quote Originally posted by BeastOfBologna View Post
    5 million? Is that world-wide?
    That might be a worldwide number, at least that's the number I remember seeing about 10-15 years ago, I imagine that hasn't changed by much. I'm not sure how many of those are in the US, but I imagine it is a substantial number. These are obviously mostly right-wing and very likely would support a right wing coup or a Trump takeover.

    I don't actually think militias are even legal anywhere else in the world, not unless they are actually under the command structure of the national armed forces. Probably a legacy of the revolutionary war, along with the second amendment and other such idiosyncrasies the US seems to cling to. The electoral college and a two-party system, would be two further examples.

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  13. #1027
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Fred Steeves View Post
    Well, as a feet on the ground, gun toting individual in a deeply red state, here's a bit of my first hand perspective on this.

    My wife and I became DEEPLY concerned about things post election, but especially so, during the whole election challenge fiasco. It's not at all uncommon to hear gun fire living out in the country, almost everyone has guns, lots of people hunt, and they're very independent, it's just heritage and a way of life. There's much more gun violence in the city (where ironically things are much more liberal), but I mean hell, out here? Nah. It's almost unheard of! The only time it really happens at all is when some junky decides to use a gun to try and knock off a pharmacy for pain pills.

    So I can unequivocally bear witness that having lots of guns around, does NOT necessarily equate to a problem with gun violence during any ordinary times that I have live through (I'm 55). I think there's a lot of myth to that, to a point that is...

    During that period of time in question of the great election challenge however, there was a notable tension in the air, and there was a LOT more gunfire going off, it seemed as though people were almost practicing for something, and being a couple that had no use for Captain Chaos what so ever, that had us greatly concerned for our own personal safety. We could easily be seen as the enemy. I found myself running off scenarios to my wife like, if it comes down to it, we would hoist the American flag nice and high like right in front of the house, in case some enraged armed gang came riding through checking on people wondering are you for us, or against us?

    Of course meaning basically are you duty bound to Captain Chaos? I figured showing that overt signal of (of course false) patriotism might preclude some tensions, and they may just run along thinking that we're "okay". But if pushed on it, I was fully prepared to say whatever I had to to ensure the safety of me and my family. Things have thankfully calmed down since then, but I don't think the problem has gone away. Not yet anyway. That big mother of all bombs thankfully was never detonated, but surely there's still gasoline poured all over the place just awaiting a lit match.

    I'll tell you guys one thing though, it's doing no one any good to keep harping harping on that these right wingers are stupid and crazy. They have plenty to complain about with this government for years running now (as well the left wingers should as well!), even if they have no clue as to the intricate nuances behind all of this shite; but to keep poking and prodding them Rachel Maddow style with continual insults and bitch slaps?

    Bad, bad, BAD fucking idea.
    I can relate in several ways. We also have hunting as well as a shooting range within a mile so we hear gunfire often. It can be annoying on a nice Sunday to hear a bunch of gunfire interrupting the peaceful day.

    And I also have an American flag which I hoist both on the fourth or flag day as well as strategically. I've always loved the Betsy Ross flag, and I have no desire to send any 'messages' with that one. It's just a part of history.


    After decades of Rush Limbaugh maligning folks day in and day out, I have little sympathy for criticisms of Rachel Maddow, one woman in a line-up of evening 'entertainment' hosts who spread vile lies and malign accusations regularly. I also doubt folks in 'red' areas are even watching her. She doesn't get ratings in those communities.

    She just cannot hold a candle to Carlson, Hannity, Limbaugh, or any of them.


    Personally, I don't feel safer knowing folks are armed. That's how bystanders get shot. Trained officers can have difficulties in highly stressful situations when it comes to shooting a gun. Regular folks don't have that kind of training.

    There have been several tragic stories of someone being the 'good guy' with a gun and getting arrested or shot dead by the police. It's a dangerous game, imo.



    The Second Amendment isn't protecting people when they are marching, unarmed, and get shot by bystanders or the police or folks in their front yards.

    The speech of the unarmed isn't protected at all.

    Guns don't protect speech. Snipers kill orators. Angry folks shoot people they argued with. It's not really a protection.

    And, as I've said before, the Bill of Rights is a whole and shouldn't be parsed out to focus on one aspect of one Amendment. The meaning gets lost.

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    I saw a video of a woman running a store with a mask policy. A couple came in and refused, then harassed her. She got out a baseball bat and threatened them with it. The man took it from her and hit her with it and then took the bat.

    The couple was arrested for theft and battery.

    I heard some good advice. Rather than a bat, have a fire extinguisher behind the counter. Shoot that at the customers. They'll leave and no one will be injured or dead.

    Fred, you said,

    So anyway we DID keep it a polite conversation, went on to talk a bit about the Constitution a bit, and parted ways. I told my wife something along the lines of "people like him had better not ever get their hands on any real power in this country". I could easily see them arm banding, and eventually rounding up of the undesirables just like you spoke of. Until Captain Chaos and his merry men came along doing their thing, especially during the 2020 election fiasco, I couldn't really imagine how this could ever happen. But then I "saw" it as described above, I saw how it could possibly begin to happen, and it was and still is frightening to the core.
    That's what my Dad said. If we bring religion into politics, especially the right-wing, that will be the quickest way to lose our freedoms.

    I've been deeply concerned since the formation of the Christian Coalition and the Gringrichian mantra, "don't admit you're wrong, that's weak. Double down." It's a deadly combo.

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    George Washington did not want political parties. He warned against them. And then they were formed as soon as he was gone.

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Regarding the idea of separating out blue and red states, I think most people are like you, Fred. They like aspects of both. I happen to have family all over the country and absolutely no desire to see this land divided. There's no good outcome for that.

    It would just be one more layer slowing the economy, one more arena for grift and divisive dynamics, one more layer of distraction while the rest of the world leaves us behind, children who have everything and just cannot get along.

    Most of America is purple, not red or blue.

    We're a purple country and that's a royal color. We should stay that way and not diminish ourselves.

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  21. #1031
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    Regarding the idea of separating out blue and red states, I think most people are like you, Fred. They like aspects of both. I happen to have family all over the country and absolutely no desire to see this land divided. There's no good outcome for that.

    It would just be one more layer slowing the economy, one more arena for grift and divisive dynamics, one more layer of distraction while the rest of the world leaves us behind, children who have everything and just cannot get along.

    Most of America is purple, not red or blue.

    We're a purple country and that's a royal color. We should stay that way and not diminish ourselves.
    Considering the heavy US-political nature of this thread, I generally try staying out of it and keeping my mouth shut. But now I am going to speak up, because your post above worries me, Sister.

    Your post above clearly shows that you are just as much a "patriot" as the established elites from both the blue and red camps are, in that you partake in the ─ pardon my wording; no personal insult is intended ─ for us non-Americans irritatingly arrogant belief that the United States of America is somehow exceptional and superior to all other countries, and deserving of the global leadership role it has assumed for itself through subterfuge, intimidation and unofficial (for unsanctioned by Congress) invasion of and warfare against sovereign nations under the false pretense of national security ─ "They attacked our Great Nation™!"

    The United States of America could do very well with a hard-needed lesson in humility, both in terms of its government and military-industrial complex on the one hand, and its insular population on the other hand. Something along the lines of "Come and talk to us again when you've abolished the death penalty in all states, educated all American children in something other than pro-American propaganda, respect all human rights, and ─ first of all, as a sign that you understood this message ─ have fully adopted the metric system."

    Until then, your Great Nation™ will remain a developing country with an overdeveloped military-industrial complex, and an insular, ignorant and poorly educated population that doesn't know any better because they think they live at the center of the universe.

    I know that my above opinion is not going to win me any popularity points, and it hurts to have to go in against one of our own team members, but that's the way I see it, and I would rather speak the truth and be hated than speak lies or hold my tongue and be loved.

    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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    I don't think of us as a 'great nation' in the way you describe, Aragorn. It's just my home and where I'm from. Anywhere I go, I'm an American. I cannot escape that fact. If I had to lie, the best I could do is say I'm Canadian.

    I also don't relish the idea of the US backsliding, which we are, being an opportunity for others to pounce. Which they will.

    I do live here.

    I don't want division here based on supposed political divisions of red and blue. Most folks are just people.

    My comment about purple being royal was a bit tongue-in-cheek as we left royalty behind, historically.

    Supposedly.

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    Senior Member BeastOfBologna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Considering the heavy US-political nature of this thread, I generally try staying out of it and keeping my mouth shut. But now I am going to speak up, because your post above worries me, Sister.

    Your post above clearly shows that you are just as much a "patriot" as the established elites from both the blue and red camps are, in that you partake in the ─ pardon my wording; no personal insult is intended ─ for us non-Americans irritatingly arrogant belief that the United States of America is somehow exceptional and superior to all other countries, and deserving of the global leadership role it has assumed for itself through subterfuge, intimidation and unofficial (for unsanctioned by Congress) invasion of and warfare against sovereign nations under the false pretense of national security ─ "They attacked our Great Nation™!"

    The United States of America could do very well with a hard-needed lesson in humility, both in terms of its government and military-industrial complex on the one hand, and its insular population on the other hand. Something along the lines of "Come and talk to us again when you've abolished the death penalty in all states, educated all American children in something other than pro-American propaganda, respect all human rights, and ─ first of all, as a sign that you understood this message ─ have fully adopted the metric system."

    Until then, your Great Nation™ will remain a developing country with an overdeveloped military-industrial complex, and an insular, ignorant and poorly educated population that doesn't know any better because they think they live at the center of the universe.

    I know that my above opinion is not going to win me any popularity points, and it hurts to have to go in against one of our own team members, but that's the way I see it, and I would rather speak the truth and be hated than speak lies or hold my tongue and be loved.

    For Whatever Its Worth: wow, I haven't been here for awhile ...

    Some mathematicians, statisticians, and scientists believe that the 'Imperial' system is more practical ...
    “But those who have been under the shadow, who have gone down at last to elemental things, will have a wider charity” - Herbert George Wells -

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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    I don't think of us as a 'great nation' in the way you describe, Aragorn. It's just my home and where I'm from. Anywhere I go, I'm an American. I cannot escape that fact. If I had to lie, the best I could do is say I'm Canadian.
    But that's just it. You identify as an American.

    I live in Belgium ─ a country also torn by divisions, and that's plural, because in addition to the left-right paradigm, there's also the tension between the Flemish and francophone population, albeit that this is more of a political spiel than that the people themselves would be hostile toward one another ─ but I do not identify as a Belgian. Belgium is just the patch of land where I happen to live, and whose laws I must abide by if I want to stay out of trouble. But I see myself as just a person, and likewise I see other people as individual humans. I care not whether they are Christians, Jews or Muslims, black, white or Asian, Dutch-speaking, francophone or whatever other language they speak, native-born or immigrant, and so on.

    I do not see myself as a Belgian. That's just an administrative formality.

    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    I also don't relish the idea of the US backsliding, which we are, being an opportunity for others to pounce. Which they will.
    Now, as you probably would have gleaned already from my earlier posts, I'm not exactly a fan of the way the EU works internally, but would it really be such a bad thing for Planet Earth if ─ just as an example ─ the EU were to end up leading the world instead of the USA? Would it?

    Never mind Russia ─ Putin is too much of a nationalist, and he's way too busy trying to hold his own country together amidst of all the political dissidence and criticism he's reaping. And never mind the Chinese, because as a socialist nation in a capitalist world, they too are too busy to even think about invading countries on other continents and overthrowing their regimes.

    But of course, if the EU were to lead the world instead of the USA, then America would suffer, even if only because America ─ with its self-righteous defiance of the metric system and of the human rights principles that exist outside of the USA ─ would suddenly be exposed for what it really is underneath that glamorous Hollywood veneer and those heroic looking military outfits, namely a socially, culturally and intellectually underdeveloped country. They would need to learn what it means to be civilized. American children would suddenly need to learn about the existence of those other nations at school, and maybe learn new languages.

    They would need to learn that Austria is not the country with the kangaroos that lies north of Scotland. They would need to adapt to something that is not America. And most of all, they would need to learn that Americans are not more valuable and not more exceptional than any other human being on this godforsaken planet, but that they instead have yet so much to learn from all those other cultures whose existence they have been ignoring in their American hubris.

    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    I do live here.

    I don't want division here based on supposed political divisions of red and blue. Most folks are just people.
    Those divisions have already existed ever since the USA was created on the blood and bones of the natives whose land was stolen from underneath them at gunpoint, on the blood, sweat and tears of the African slaves that were kidnapped away from their families and their homes only to end up being treated worse than farm animals, and on the sweat of the underpaid and maltreated Chinese railroad laborers that were lured over to America under false promises only to end up being treated only marginally better than the African slaves.

    This is nothing new. It just so happens to be that the times have changed and that people are now gathering online, which allows extremists to find each other and form organized or semi-organized lobbies ─ as well as militias, but that's just because America has a quasi unbridled firearms industry.





    Quote Originally posted by BeastOfBologna View Post
    Some mathematicians, statisticians, and scientists believe that the 'Imperial' system is more practical ...
    Some scholars believe that Earth is flat, and some scholars believe that "Jesus died for our sins". Some mathematicians, statisticians and scientists believe that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was a biological weapon developed in a Chinese laboratory.

    If I had a penny for every ludicrous belief system in existence, I'd be rich.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Considering the heavy US-political nature of this thread, I generally try staying out of it and keeping my mouth shut. But now I am going to speak up, because your post above worries me, Sister.

    Your post above clearly shows that you are just as much a "patriot" as the established elites from both the blue and red camps are, in that you partake in the ─ pardon my wording; no personal insult is intended ─ for us non-Americans irritatingly arrogant belief that the United States of America is somehow exceptional and superior to all other countries, and deserving of the global leadership role it has assumed for itself through subterfuge, intimidation and unofficial (for unsanctioned by Congress) invasion of and warfare against sovereign nations under the false pretense of national security ─ "They attacked our Great Nation™!"

    The United States of America could do very well with a hard-needed lesson in humility, both in terms of its government and military-industrial complex on the one hand, and its insular population on the other hand. Something along the lines of "Come and talk to us again when you've abolished the death penalty in all states, educated all American children in something other than pro-American propaganda, respect all human rights, and ─ first of all, as a sign that you understood this message ─ have fully adopted the metric system."

    Until then, your Great Nation™ will remain a developing country with an overdeveloped military-industrial complex, and an insular, ignorant and poorly educated population that doesn't know any better because they think they live at the center of the universe.

    I know that my above opinion is not going to win me any popularity points, and it hurts to have to go in against one of our own team members, but that's the way I see it, and I would rather speak the truth and be hated than speak lies or hold my tongue and be loved.

    I'm afraid the time for Anglo-American humility has now come and I don't cherish it one bit. It is likely to resemble the period of "Great Humiliation" in Chinese History, which lasted from the Opium Wars, through the Boxer Rebellion, two world wars, the Chinese Civil War and the Korean war, only really ending with the economic development of the 1980s. England and the United States are likely to face a similarly lengthy period of humiliation from this decade forward, it is just sad, but a necessary consequence of previous actions, call it Karma if you will.

    I write about the United States on this thread mostly, because it seems to me it is the most likely to collapse, for the reasons you also listed and many others. I grew up during the collapse of the Soviet System, so I know exactly what that entails and ours was a pretty mild one in comparison to what is likely to occur in the US and its little brother, Tory England.

    I really, really dread what is about to happen in both countries, probably much sooner than any of us realise. But, I also take a stoical view, there is nothing I can do about it and the wheels have been set in motion a long time ago, the Anglo-American empire is now reaping the consequences of its own past actions. All I can actually do is to warn those few thoughtful and well-informed people that might listen and hope that they make the necessary preparations, preferably to leave before it's too late. They probably have until 2024 to get their things in order and get out of there.

    I noticed that Bill Maher, whose opinion I really trust on matters of US politics, has already stated he will be watching whatever conflict takes place in the United States after the 2024 elections from abroad, he's not stupid enough to still be there when the slow-moving right-wing coup finally achieves its aim in whatever form. I think he's absolutely right and this time it's real.

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