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KQµårk 死神 On June - 5 - 2009

popcorn2_zoomThis is actually a phrase my wife uses to describe the every increasing level of domestic violence.  By domestic violence in this case I mean violence that is initiated from pressures at home or someone’s immediate environment.  These horrific crimes are usually perpetrated on immediate family members but also spreads out to the workplace environment and even the public.  But the cause for these people to commit such horrendous acts of violence begin because they perceive themselves as failures in there lives.  The people who usually commit these acts of violence are usual white middle aged males who are recently divorced, recently lost their jobs and are frequently gun owners.

Many of us see the the stories seemly on a daily basis about people killing their whole families to save them from the cruel world or killing people at their workplace or just targeting a group of people to direct their hatred.  All too often people that know these mass murderers see all the signs before they commit such atrocities but ignore them either for the temporary sake of peace in their lives or just because they do not feel a sense of community and remain apathetic.

There is simply not the sence of community in this country that their once was not too long ago.   It has very little to do with the usual suspects Republicans pontificate about including elements of modern culture like violence in movies, on television, in music videos or in video games.  Focusing on these parts of our culture is just a distraction Republicans use for political purposes.  The real problems with our culture are much more complex and insidious.  Lack of high paying middle class jobs, a broken educational system, lack of adequate mental health, the presures on two parents needing to work to raise children, lack of an adequate safety net and the inability of people to live where they want instead of where the jobs are moving are much more destructive to our modern culture.

The American Dream is simply a myth in modern America.  Families all to often are broken apart not beecause of internal pressures within relationships but because of external pressures like constant layoffs, inability for a couple to find high paying jobs in the same location and the inability of couples or single parents to raise children in an affordable homes.   Even when times were “good” when I worked in corporate America companies I worked with would find a reason to shed workers each year to maximize profits.  These workers who’s jobs were “eliminated” where usually close to the tail end of their carreers in their mid 40’s to late 50’s.  While their jobs where “eliminated” the companies tended to find a way to created new positions that employed younger people who typically did similar job functions as the people who where let go at lower cost.  However in these circumstances during these yearly shakeups the managers that eliminate jobs often end up getting promotions and pay raises.  This is one driving factor in creating a wider and wider gulf between the haves and have nots in modern American society.

Almost without exception the people I kept in contact with ended up taking jobs at less pay in different cities and often states.  Many times they ended up living in a different place than the rest of their family just so their spouses, junior high school or high school children could have some stability in their lives.  Sometimes people who had even advanced degrees had to find jobs outside thier direct area of expertize and I would see excellent scientists have to become pharmacuetical sales reps or even care salespeople.  The worst part or maybe the best part depending on your perspective is the people I worked with were highly trained and many of them had multiple degrees or advanced degrees so they were able to find something.  So I personally cannot imagine what a blue collar worker’s prospects are when they are layed off after working over 20 years for a company like GM and having nothing more than a high school education.

Nothing that happens in society every justifies the terrible acts these people commit.  Obviously people that take the live’s of others and their own live’s are the most extreme examples of the negative effects that these stresses have on society.  The people that perpetrate such acts are like unpop kernals of popcorn and when the heat in their lives passes a critical temperature they pop destroying the lives of so many people around them.  There are aggrevating factors that are unique to American society like free access to weapons of micro destruction including semi-automatic pistols and assault rifles which helps the killer be able to dissasociate themselves from their own crimes.  The worst part is these pressures in society are creating a new catagory of people committing such unthinkable acts like single mothers taking the lives of their tiny children to free themselves from that responsiblilty.

There are few easy solutions to many problems our globalized society faces.  In fact more and more other countries are experience an uptick in such crimes.  Progress has been painfully slow in this country and the economic turmoil is only aggrevating the problem.  Fixing the social problems created from economic inequality and an inadequate safety net will take decades not years to accomplish.  As long as we have a political party in this country that campaigns only on personal responsibility, ineffectively small government and lower the tax base progress will be hindered for the foreseable future.  Sure things like personal responsibility are good catch phrases and sound good in principle but what about those people who are like unpoped popcorn kernels and cannot take the pressures a society without proper mental healthcare has to bare?

We need everyone in society accountable to one another, a real community again, not just individuals whose sole purpose in life is to amass wealth who are accountable to no one.

Categories: News & Politics

Written by KQµårk 死神

My PlanetPOV contact is [email protected] Proud Dem whose favorite hobby is cat herding. The GOP is not a political party, it's a personality disorder. Cancer, Heart Failure and Bush Survivor.

14 Responses so far.

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  1. Kalima says:

    Excellent article KQ. During my time at Huff, I would often get into arguments about your lack of
    stringent gun laws only to be shouted down by people who owned guns and said it was their right.

    Maybe when the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution it was what was necessary but now it
    should have been or should be amended to go with the times.

    Here in Japan, ordinary citizen are forbidden to obtain or carry firearms and even though we have
    quite a few knifings here, by comparison we are that much safer. No one will be shooting a family
    member or friend on a deranged rampage. These people are suicidal anyway, why can’t they just
    off themselves somewhere in private without taking other victims with them.

    Here in Japan, it used to be that people would drive for miles to a secluded forest and hang
    themselves from a tree. There were special once a year recovery teams who would check for
    bodies deep into the forests, sometimes they would find some identification so they families
    could then be informed. Sad but I’ve always thought that suicide should remain a private thing.

    Btw, I’m sure that not everyone who will come to visit the site will have my eye problem, but
    I found the colour used in this article very hard to read.

    • KQuark says:

      The problem is not even with the second amendment it’s the way the right wing interprets the second amendment.

      “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

      The right wing totally ignores the first part of the sentence, in fact the NRA leaves it out completely in their literature. The first part of the sentence means that government has the ability to pass any gun control law they want.

      It’s also a dated concept because the whole purposes of the second amendment was supposed to be a safeguard against tyranny. For example if the government was taking over by a right wing coup d’etat in it’s early inception people would be able to rise up to take back the country from the criminal government because they had arms and could form militias. The real problem with that mindset is that we are now well over 200 years into our development and our institutions are well established. And while power does tend to concentrate in the Executive branch no one can really “take over” the country. Also for all practical purposes the military in this country has weaponry that is so far more destructive than citizens can own that a militia could never take over the country if it wanted to in the first place.

      So the original intent of the 2nd amendment is simply moot and it really has become an argument about self defense rather than preventing tyranny. Ironically I live in a town that has a law on the books that says everyone in the town MUST own a gun. It was a law put on the books as a backlash to gun control laws. Here are the details.


      • Kalima says:

        Well you have just explained why this particular amendment is for all intents and purposes
        obsolete and off course the RW will make a lot of noise because the majority of gun owners
        are Republicans.

        Good Lord, requiring the whole town to own a gun seems incredulous to me, I would have to
        move to another town or another state if I were faced with this.

        I’m glad we don’t have to worry about someone getting drunk or high becoming angry enough
        to shoot family members or start a killing spree in the neighbourhood. I would never allow a
        gun in my house or anyone carrying one either. I’m avidly against hunting of any kind, you
        have enough fast food outlets everywhere and people hardly eat what they so brutally slaughter.

        I think I’ll stay in Japan or make that final move to Europe before the clock stops for good.

        • KQuark says:

          Fortunately they don’t enforce the law. Actually my corporate career is a pretty good example of needed to move from place to place to find work in this country. Now we are stuck here pretty much until the housing market comes back which could still be years away. Eventually we want to move back to the Virginia area which is becoming more of “blue state” in the common vernacular.

          • Kalima says:

            Thank goodness for that but why pass a law and not enforce it, seems like a lot of “back slapping” for something that wouldn’t stand a chance in hell of ever being complied with fully in the first place.

            Talking about “back slapping” and frenzied hand holding, just popped over to FRT and the loading hasn’t become any faster at all, so why all the congratulations?

            I suppose that some egos just have to be padded and fed on a daily basis.

  2. AdLib says:

    Wow…this is an incredible article! Well done! I have a lot to add to this conversation but only a little time now, will return with more later.

    However, it is shameful that our leaders stood by to allow such “violence” to be done to American citizens by their corporate czars, the disconnection of people from a sense of community, a sense of belonging to something more than their family (if they even have much of one.

    The ongoing crushing of the individual, like corporations squeezing oranges for more juice, sometimes force the pressure to explode in different ways…though not as unexpected as they used to be.

    It is frankly the denigration of a healthy society. Can we arrest the destruction and turn it around under our more enlightened president and his administration?

    I really don’t know. If it is possible, it probably wouldn’t really happen until Obama’a second term (knock wood) when he won’t be running for re-election and could stop compromising with corporate interests…if he chooses.

    Time will tell…

    • KQuark says:

      Cheers, I just wanted to start out with a straight opinion piece and not one of my articles that requires much more research to get going. In addition to the science and religion article I told you about I’m working on an article about Dr. Tiller who really saved dozens of woman’s lives and the right wing lunatic fringe.

      BTW I like the thumbnail ration in this format better as well. It’s now 1.5 to 1.0 which is actually easier to work with than the previous format. I’m not creating too man graphics yet for my major articles because I know the site is in some flux.

      I really like the comment boxes too. Just so much easier to read.

      • AdLib says:

        You hit a home run on it! You spoke previously about wanting to write big picture articles and this certainly is one. Very thought provoking because of that approach.

        This is a shining example of the kind of thoughtful, fact-backed and strong perspective pieces that I would be thrilled and honored to have appearing at this site.

        It is an evergreen article so it will remain here as one of the lead stories for the public launch (you may have noticed, I included it in the Featured category which is what sends stories into the glider at the top).

        Yes, the article you’ve mentioned on Dr. Tiller sounds ideal, looking forward to reading it!

        Thanks for the feedback on this theme, the layout and colors seem to be a hit with Kalima as well, good to know what works for people and what doesn’t.

        Whatever happens with the upcoming themes, I don’t think we’re going to see the original theme I started with again, heh-heh!

      • KQuark says:

        Shit I meant to say Dr. Tiller. I was just reading an article about Pat Tillman’s mother and that name was stuck in my head.

        Nevermind I forgot I could fix my mistakes now too.

        BTW once we get really going I think the war in Afghanistan would be a great debate topic. I know I’m probably right of some people here on Afghanistan so that should be a vigorous discussion.

        • AdLib says:

          This bug in the “reply” function is annoying though!

          Yep, we can fully edit our posts and comments. It also means we can see each others’ email addresses too and I think, considering the option is not being able to edit, we should all be okay about that.

          Definitely, Afgahnistan will be a great debate topic as will what to do about the Middle East.

          I’m thinking we could have a poll during the week for people to vote on which topics they’d like to see a debate on, host a few debates on different topics and have one of them Admin’s Choice so we can choose a topic on our own too.

          Or maybe during the week, we have a forum for discussion on different debate topics and pick two debaters from reading their comments. Then again, Authors should be just as eligible to join in on the debate fun. I know I’ll want to.

          • KQuark says:

            Do you mean the reply comment box appearing at the bottom of the page instead of right under the comment?

            Actually I don’t mind it because it’s easier for me to see when writing replies as long as you know they will appear under the post you want to reply to it’s actually a plus for me.

  3. jenuwin says:

    Excellent article! Into the frying pan we all go if we don’t come together as a community.

    • KQuark says:

      Thanks for you well appreciated compliment. Do I know you under a different alias because I don’t recognize that moniker right away?

      • KQuark says:

        My wife’s just not a big blogger but she’s a much better writer than me. In fact she’s helping me write my next article about healthcare. She worked at “Big Blue” for years so she’s got some great incite into how the system works. What many people don’t realize is that within healthcare insurance companies there are two factions that are always in conflict, the people who only are properly concerned about care and the people mostly concerned about the business. The people that are guided by principles involving care are usually the nurses and doctors that these companies employ though many of them are programmers, administrators and even actuaries. Then there are the people that only care about the business and they are the ones that are the non-medical practitioner executive types and staff.

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