Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I caution you, reader, that if you haven’t played the Arkham Knight yet, do not go any further than this. This post contains spoilers.

image

You know, when Rocksteady announced that they would be making another Batman game, I was ecstatic. After the let down that was Arkham Origins, I was ready for another installment. And while I feel that Arkham Knight is better than its predecessor-not by much-I cannot help but feel melancholy and my gaming mind is somehow empty.

The Plot

Arkham Knight takes place on Halloween, nearly one year later after the Joker’s death. With Batman’s counter balance gone, the villains of Gotham have rallied together to finally kill the Bat. The Batman’s main nemesis though is Scarecrow and a mysterious figure called the Arkham Knight. Bad guys the likes of Penguin and Two-Face really don’t have a whole lot to do with helping kill the Bat and pretty much stay out of his way. They are more or less, side missions.

After the introduction, where you get to cremate the Joker, there is a little dialogue from Jim Gordon and a movie in a diner that seems to be perpetually stuck in the 50s. Scarecrow releases a dose of his latest fear toxin and broadcasts it to the citizens of Gotham. A mass exodus ensues and as Gordon says: “yesterday, there were 6.3 million people in Gotham City. Today-not so many.”

Where Origins teased the player with the Batwing, Knight uses the Batmobile as an actual character. The Arkham Knight has deployed men and drones throughout the city to hunt down and kill the Batman. Gotham city is much larger in this one (three times it’s size according to Rocksteady creators) than the previous three. Traveling throughout the city is pretty easy once all the bridges are lowered.

To start off with, the game does a pretty good job introducing the user to things such as the Batmobile. After talking with Gordon at GCPD, Batman saves the life of a cop stranded and surrounded by a gang of thugs. He then heads over to a penthouse in China Town where Scarecrow is holding Poison Ivy hostage. After taking down the thugs, Batman watches as a mercenary holds a gun to Ivy’s head. Scarecrow then releases a gas inside the isolation chamber, incapacitating the thug but not Ivy. Ivy then reveals that she has a natural immunity to Scarecrow’s gas. Batman takes her to GCPD, but it isn’t long before the toxin is released that he realizes that Ivy’s plants counteract the toxin. Ivy dies, by the way.

Something that boggles the mind, and I know that things in movies and games don’t always have to make sense, but there are two blimps that seem to be glued into place in the sky. Unless, of course, they are somehow tethered to the ground or a nearby structure. It is on the second blimp that Batman and Scarecrow’s paths cross and it is revealed to the gamer that Batman is slowly turning into Joker, because in Arkham City, he was infected with the Joker’s tainted blood.

In AC, you’ll recall that Joker said that he sent his blood out to all the hospitals. But didn’t Batman take the antidote for that? And if so, how is it Batman and four others are slowly turning into Joker? Unless, creators needed to find a way to bring the Joker back, albeit still dead. Hence, his ghost. Or a hallucination of Batman.

It is then that Scarecrow blows one end of the ship off and flees from Batman. At this point, shouldn’t the blimp crash to the ground in a fiery inferno? And inexplicably, moments later, Barbara Gordon’s death and apparent suicide is broadcast over live television. Batman tells Jim. Jim gets pissed at Batman and vows to bring Scarecrow to justice and disappears.

Later in the game, the toxin is dispersed throughout the city and blankets Gotham in a thick, boiling cloud. Question: earlier in the game, before Batman neutralized the toxin at Ace Chemicals, Scarecrow said he hoped to cover the entire eastern seaboard. So why didn’t the cloud cross the bay to the neighboring city of Bludhaven? Batman unites with Poison Ivy and together, they save Gotham. Did I mention that she dies? Well, it is here that her body turns to dust-literally.

It is at this point that the gamer has to spend useless time in taking out six Cobra drones and the cloud burst. Now, as you can imagine, I do have a complaint about this part, and it wasn’t until my wife played the game that she found out why I would get so irritated.

Whenever Batman is detected by one of the drones, the screen seems to draw back from the Batmobile and the Batmobile’s handling and maneuverability seems to go into the toilet. After taking out the drones and the cloud burst, the Arkham Knight emerges from the tank, a disoriented mess. Batman grabs him and takes him up to a rooftop, where he begins a beat down on him. The Knight’s helmet comes off and the Joker stares up at Bats, laughing his ass off. Soon, the Knight completely disappears and all we’re left with is the Joker and Batman holding his head.

Surely, the Knight, having been trained by Batman and subjected to hellish torture by Joker, would’ve recovered by their fight and assaulted Batman. But nope. He vanishes into thin air. After hearing the Knight taunting Batman and declaring that he wanted to kill him, it would’ve been more tolerable had the two had a fist fight afterwards.

Jim Gordon then transmits an encrypted message on the swat frequency when there is no swat to receive it, telling Batman that he has found Scarecrow. Batman goes to rescue the despondent Commissioner, and runs into the Arkham Knight again. This time, being chased by an earth tunnel digger. After the Batmobile is destroyed and he finds Gordon, the Knight appears behind Batman and reveals himself to be Jason Todd. Which, at this point, was a major let down to all gamers, myself included, since Rocksteady kept the Knight’s true identity a secret better than the plausibility of the Warren Commission’s Magic Bullet Theory. However, despite Batman and Alfred’s failed attempts to unmask the Knight, it wasn’t incredibly hard to see the secret that was being handed to the gamer on a silver platter-what with Joker giving an entire back story of how he tortured the poor soul.

image

Batman defeats the Knight and Todd disappears. A recurring theme for this game. And it is at the top of the building that Barbara Gordon is found to still be alive; her freedom bought and paid for from Gordon betraying the Batman. Gordon shoots Bats and Scarecrow pushes Barbara off the top of the building, but Batman saves her-where they find themselves under attack from drones. It seems to be almost an after thought on the part of the creators that, with the original Batmobile being destroyed, how is the gamer suppose to finish the side missions where the Batmobile is needed. And didn’t Lucsious Fox say that it was one of a kind? The Batwing drops off another Batmobile and after defeating the drones, Barbara is taken to GCPD.

After defending the police station from an all out assault, Batman surrenders to Scarecrow and allows himself to be taken to the now condemned, Arkham Asylum. However, it is on the way there that the van carrying the Dark Knight is hit and Batman escapes to fight a never ending onslaught of Jokers. And all for the purpose of Batman snapping the neck of one-just so Joker can have a laugh and say that Batman is becoming him. I found this part truly annoying.

At the asylum, the Scarecrow reveals Batman to be a mere man to the entire world. Vicki Vale watches in stunned silence as Bruce Wayne is unmasked. Which, this part makes no sense to me. The entire plot of Scarecrow is reveal the Batman’s true identity? To show that he is only human?

It is then that the gamer gets to go around playing as the Joker, shooting and killing people, before Batman locks him away in a proverbial chamber of his mind. And that’s enough to counteract the fear toxin? And Batman becoming the Joker?

Suddenly, the Arkham Knight appears and shoots the cuffs off of Batman. This, coupled with the fact that Todd now has a red Bat symbol painted on his chest makes one wonder: what was it that made him change sides? And this is the last time we see Todd. Which, kind of perplexes me, because isn’t Gotham situated on an island and isn’t the bridge to the mainland raised? Not to mention, there’s no closure for the gamer. No final conversation between the two, nothing. Crane is then injected with his own toxin and is taken to GCPD.

And so, reader, that is where the game ends. Assuming, that by now, you’ve beaten all the side missions, you can then activate the Knightfall Protocol; where you’ll watch a movie of Bruce Wayne returning home. Vicki Vale reports just outside the front gates when Wayne Manor explodes.

What I liked about the game

I like the graphics, the Batmobile, the Bat suit, Catwoman (who doesn’t). I’m sure there are other things I can’t think of.

What I didn’t like about the game

For me, it wasn’t just about playing a new Batman game or the graphics, or what not. I’m sure other gamers could excuse a limp plot for everything else the creators got right, but not me. I can understand that with the Joker dead, the other villains would want to exact some much deserved revenge on the Batman. But, where is the threat to Gotham when all that is left-when push comes to shove-are people who are pretty much a waste of oxygen? I mean, would anyone really miss them? Wouldn’t there be a greater urgency to save the city if the inhabitants were left? What if Scarecrow gave no warning at all? What if there was a better plot?

The plot to ransom a city devoid of citizens makes as much sense as Arkham City. You’re going to build a city prison just to execute them all? That’s what the whole build up to Protocol 10 was? Gasing a city that accomplished nothing whatsoever, is tantamount to the trailer of Origins where it showed Batman fighting Deathstroke in a place where neither one meet. And Deathstroke wasn’t even a main character in the story.

Speaking of Deathstroke. How in the hell does he become leader of the militants? Up until this point, he’s not even mentioned in the game. And after you take out the militia check points and everything else, you again, have to battle the leader with about five Cobra drones. I could forgive this if it took more than just a few punches to incapacitate a battle hardened assassin.

The thing that annoyed me was the games predictability. I wasn’t long into the game when I told my wife that Barbara Gordon would be kidnapped. When it was revealed that her dad had no idea she was still inside city limits-let alone working for the Batman-one knew that the clock tower would be compromised. And, at any rate, wouldn’t Jim Gordon, being the loving father that he is, of made sure his daughter got off the island safely? I must admit that I didn’t see the whole suicide thing coming. But I did expect that Barbara was still alive.

If you played the side mission Identity Thief in Arkham City, you’ll know who Thomas Elliot (Hush) is. He is just as skilled as Batman and just as intelligent. Being a master surgeon, Elliot was meticulous about choosing his victims and slicing off their faces to graft a face for himself that looked identical to that of Bruce Wayne’s. And all we’re left with in AK is that Fox goes incognito, only to find out that Hush has infiltrated Wayne Tower? And all for the sake of-what I assume-stealing money from his former friend? That’s what we’re left with?

What if Hush was the Arkham Knight? What if by some set of circumstances, he discovered who the Batman really was? Wouldn’t it have made a better and more plausible story if he sought to kill the Dark Knight and assume both identities?

Robin and Nightwing make cameo appearances. And as you might imagine, Batman doesn’t want either ones help, which doesn’t make any sense. What’s the point of having a side kick and sort of a side kick if you don’t allow them to help you? What’s the point of keeping Robin locked away in a room searching for a cure to the Joker syndrome when Batman took the antidote in Arkham City? Did Mr. Freeze die sometime during that eight months? And come to find out, the only guy that was infected and not showing any real signs, was playing possum all along.

Come to think of it, how can being infected with Joker’s blood make someone a “Joker”? Wasn’t the thing that was killing the Joker the Titan formula?

The Riddler is an annoying little bitch, and I’m not any real good at puzzles. So, suffice it to say, I stay away from him as much as possible. But he’s not really a threat to Gotham City; he just likes to prove he’s smarter than the world’s Greatest Detective. And I’m glad that Catwoman made the cut, but if all her contribution is to be captured by the Riddler, then it is a travesty. After all, not only is she a fun character to play as, but am I the only one that finds her sexually attractive? I know, she’s an animated character. Don’t focus on the wrong part of the story.

As in the case of Origins, where the trailers made it seem that Deathstroke was the focal point of the story, AK made it seem that Batman would be fighting the likes of Two-Face in the city streets. Batman pushed to the point of breaking, would have to rely on the help of his allies. But, alas, my enthusiasm went up in a foul smelling vapor. A bit of false advertisement, in my opinion.

Knight is a great departure from City and Origins, in that Gotham City looks nothing like it’s former self. Its a reboot of sorts. In both Origins and City-Asylum even-Wayne Tower looms on the horizon, from what I assume to be the mainland. But in Arkham Knight, Bludhaven is the mainland. And it looks bigger than Gotham! A series of questions:

Where are the suburbs? You’re telling me that three islands are able to hold 6.3 million people? But most important, where is Arkham Asylum and Wayne Manor? And since neither one is in evidence, where are they? And are they on the mainland? And if they are, how did Batman get the Batmobile on the island and how did Scarecrow get Bats to the Asylum when the bridge going to the mainland is closed off?

I know that I’ve ranted more than praised this game and its creators (but damn it-I bought an Xbox One with this game in mind), but one more thing before I go. Okay, two.

Inconsistencies and repetition. Where Origins has you fighting Bane three times, Knight has Batman pitted against Cobra tanks a number of times, and the fact that Deathstroke has his own tank just reeks of a lack of ingenuity. It’s like the writers took one theme and wanted to play it over and over.

The Arkham Knight is either bipolar or has multiple personalities. Numerous times throughout the game, he says he wants to kill the Dark Knight, but doesn’t. Instead, he defers to Scarecrow. He even puts a bullet in Batman’s gut and walks away. Make up your frigging mind!

Alright, I’ve ranted long enough. Like I said, some can forgive a bad story, but I can’t. I like a good story to go along with what I’m playing, and this just wasn’t one of them. In the years between Arkham City and Knight, I am bemused as to how the writers and creators, in all their brainstorming, couldn’t have come up with a more compelling, believable story. If Scarecrow wanted to unmask the Batman and deprive the citizens of Gotham of hope, then why not do it with them on the island?! After all, by the time the cowl is removed, the toxin had already been neutralized. All it would’ve taken was a well placed snipers bullet to end Scarecrow once and for all. Is the GCPD really that incompetent?

In using false propaganda to build hype and fan’s fervor for the Caped Crusader, Rocksteady promised a satisfying culmination of the Arkham trilogy. But all we got were repetition, inconsistencies and errors that cannot be ignored. In severing the line for any other division of WB Games to build upon the Arkham story, Rocksteady any praise for them is nothing but white noise.

I not only mourn for Batman, but also anyone who spent their hard earned money to purchase this grand debacle.

My Grade: C

Advertisements

Waylon’s Revolution has been dormant for a while – since October of 2013, in fact.  I’ve taken a hiatus from politics and conspiracy theories, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t paid attention to the news.  If the news isn’t always depressing, it certainly makes for good entertainment.  Don’t get used to this, though.  I’m not sure when I’ll be back.  With that being said, I would like to give just a few of my opinions of recent events.  Note: Opinions are not always fact based.

Gov. Chris Christie
A lot of people like this guy, I don’t.  And not because he worked with President Obama after Super Storm Sandy to rebuild, but for a far more fundamental reason: he’s a belligerent blabbermouth.  Just take for example when he told a heckler to “sit down and shut up”.

Again, some people like this guy.  They look at his obstinacy and think that he would make a good president.  “He’ll get the job done!”  If the last six years have been a do-nothing Congress and White House, what makes anyone think that a president telling members of Congress to “sit down and shut up” will get anything done?

Hillary Clinton
The media is already a buzz over the possibility of another Bush-Clinton standoff in ’16 (which I’ll get to Jeb in a minute).  Not only do I abhor Hillary for her politics: same-sex marriage, abortion, etc., I just don’t like her as a person.  Have you ever had a jar of pennies and silver and they’re all shiny and clean, but you dig down and you find one that is corroded and nasty; a coin that not even a change cashing machine would take – that’s the Clintons.

How is it that in the last twenty-six years of this nation’s history, two families have been able to inhabit the White House?  My father lost his job at General Electric due to the NAFTA agreement.  So, one day, I decided to do some research.  And I found that not only did George Sr. support the bill – he tried to fast-track it, but sadly, ran out of time when the “American people spoke”.  Bill Clinton supported it, too.  In fact, while signing the bill on January 1, 1994, Clinton said,   “NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t support this agreement.”

People back then – like my father – would’ve believed that Clinton was meaning that the American people would be a glutton on jobs like Santa Claus on Christmas, but look at the aftermath; jobs were lost, families and livelihoods ruined.  It isn’t any wonder that a year before my father died, Congress sent him a letter stating that since he lost his job due to NAFTA, they were willing to send him back to school.  Bill Clinton, Hillary and the entire Clinton administration knew what that egregious bill would do, and it is my belief that is what Bill was referring to.

You may be wondering what NAFTA has to do with who runs for the Oval Office.  Well, like in the case of the 1992 election, where the top candidates shared the same view, where did the American people have a choice?  Likewise, if two prominent political families constantly run for office, where does that open the door to fresh candidates and new ideas?  In the final analysis of Hillary Clinton, she should ride off into the sunset.  Let the people have a new ray of hope.

Jeb Bush
 As I stated in the case of Hillary Clinton, the same can be said for Jeb.  But, hell, the American people have become so used to seeing the same thing over and over again, it’s like a bad movie; meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

The Political Arena
I liken politics today to this: let’s say that a door-to-door salesman comes to your door and he is peddling a new shoe that has come out onto the market.  You listen to his pitch and decide to try it.  But once you get the shoe on, you find that the shoe doesn’t quite fit right, so you send him away.  A little while later, a new salesman comes to the door, peddling the same crappy shoe; but where the shoe lacks in quality, the salesman is an expert orator.  You buy the shoe, but after the peddler is gone, you regret spending your hard-earned money on a shoddy piece of work.

Only an astounding 36% of Americans went to the polls this year.  That is the lowest numbers since WWI or WWII?  And people look down on those who don’t vote ever, or wait for the Presidential election.  But where is their incentive to vote when someone has lasted in politics for decades and a new comer is shrouded in obscurity and a pall of inexperience looms over their heads like yesterday’s hangover?  (By the way, before you ask, I am a voter.)

Should Hillary not heed my advice, and decide to run, she will face a plethora of questions and scrutiny regarding prior knowledge of Benghazi.  Not that I don’t think that concerns should be probed, but where were the concerns of prior knowledge to 9/11?  Like the Warren Commission, the spurious and over lauded 9/11 Commission failed to delve deep into the Bush administration’s actions before and after the most tragic event in U.S. history since Pearl Harbor.  With a Bush insider at its helm in Philip Zelikow, the Commission’s investigation was skewed into waters that were more tolerable.

Does this mean that Clinton and President Obama should get off Scott free?  No.  But it’s a simple illustration of the circus that has become Washington D.C.

And, of course, I cannot leave you without an address from Ron Paul.

Madeline Albright had this to say about Iraq in regards to “sanctions” that were supposed to “punish the Hussein regime”.

Here is what former Congressman Ron Paul had to say about the impeachment process of Bill Clinton and the asinine bombings of Iraq, Sudan, and Afghanistan.

Notice how Ron Paul said that waging “unchecked war” like this invites attacks on the United States?  Here’s George W. Bush.

Bush, Jr. admits that Iraq had nothing to do with September 11, 2001.

Iraqi testimony in Congress.

Iraq seems like a distant memory, doesn’t it?  The “Mission Complete” banner that hung above the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln as President Bush called an end to combat operations in Iraq sort of immortalized his presidency.  Then all hell broke loose.

But, then again, what was “Mission Complete”?  Saddam Hussein’s poorly assembled military barely put up a fight as U.S.-led forces marched their way to Baghdad.  It didn’t take long for the American people (or at least those who didn’t need neocons inside the Bush White House and Fox News to tell them what to think) to see that the Bush administration had thought as far as the invasion and nothing more.  No clear defined enemy.  No clear defined victory.  No objective.  Just “stay the course”.  Horrors stories from Abu Graib that smeared the name of the United States.

So what have we learned from our experiences in Iraq?  I like to think nothing.  The left’s attacks during the Bush administration’s handling of the war was all for posturing.  They have their own wars they’d like to fight.  You know those untold millions the Obama administration is giving to the rebels is Syria?  The U.S. taxpayer will be paying that back.  How does a rebel pay back money that they don’t have?

In 1997, a neoconservative think-tank was created – The Project for the New American Century.  Comprising of Bush insiders such as Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, and Dick Cheney – to make a long story short – the goal of PNAC was to lead the world militarily.  From the outset, Saddam Hussein’s regime seemed to be in the cross hairs of the PNAC members and attached conservatives.  (Please click the hyperlink to learn more.)

On September 20,2001, PNAC sent a letter to President Bush urging regime change in Iraq.

…even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.

What’s the meaning?  The United States was invading Iraq regardless.  A quote from PNAC’s manifesto that draws more questions than answers was this:

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.

That “new Pearl Harbor” came on September 11, 2001.  And with it, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden, who seems until recently, was forgotten.

In serving their own interests, the neoconservatives have placed both the sanctity and security of the United States in jeopardy.  I hope we have learned our lesson.  But I doubt it.

‘Treason doth never prosper’, wrote an English poet.  What’s the reason?  If it prosper then none dare call it treason.
– Kevin Costner, JFK

Brain-dead twitt Sarah Palin says Todd Akin has to go.  Bless her heart!  (Not really!)

With the median household income sitting just shy of $51,000 dollars, one has to wonder – how can a member of Congress justify their income?  To the poverty stricken and destitute populace, I highly doubt that John Boehner would parade around that he makes over two-hundred and twenty grand.  But wait, a starving child is not “your” responsibility, is it, Mr. Boehner?

It Not Your Imagination – American Families ARE Getting Poorer

Michael Snyder The Economic Collapse August 28, 2012

Did you know that median household income in the United States is lower today than it was when the last recession supposedly ended?  If we are in the middle of an “economic recovery”, how can this possibly be happening?  Stunning new statistics compiled by Sentier Research show that the U.S. economy is not nearly as healthy as we have been led to believe.  According to the study that Sentier Research has just released, median household income in the United States was sitting at $55,470 back in January 2000.  In December 2007, when the recession began, it was sitting at $54,916.  In June 2009, when the recession supposedly ended, it was sitting at $53,508.  Today, it is sitting at $50,964.  This is a long-term trend that is definitely going in the wrong direction.  The fact that median household income in the U.S. is now 4.8 percent lower than it was when the last recession ended is incredibly disturbing, especially since all of the things that we buy on a regular basis just keep going up in price.  Food, gas, electricity, car insurance and health insurance all cost a whole lot more today than they did back in the year 2000, and yet median household income has dropped 8.1 percent since that time.  So what does all of this mean?  It means that American families ARE getting poorer.

Yes, the stock market has been soaring, corporate profits have set all-time records in recent years and the big Wall Street banks that were showered with bailout money are absolutely thriving.

But there has been no economic recovery on “Main Street”.

According to the Sentier Research report mentioned above, incomes have been declining in all geographic regions of the country and in all sectors of the economy….

-Median household income for the self-employed has fallen 9.4 percent since June 2009.

-Median household income for private sector employees has fallen 4.5 percent since June 2009.

-Median household income for government workers has fallen 3.5 percent since June 2009.

-Median household income for Americans living in the West has fallen 8.5 percent since June 2009.

-Median household income for Americans living in the Northeast has fallen 4.9 percent since June 2009.

-Median household income for Americans living in the South has also fallen 4.9 percent since June 2009.

-Median household income for Americans living in the Midwest has fallen 1.1 percent since June 2009.

Remember, the recession supposedly ended in June 2009.

Since that time we have supposedly been in a “recovery”.

So if it has seemed to you that American families have been getting poorer it has not just been your imagination.

In a previous article, I detailed 84 statistics that prove that the middle class in America is being systematically destroyed.  If you have not read it yet, I encourage you to go check it out.  At this point it is absolutely undeniable that the middle class in America is declining.  The following are just a couple of the numbers from my recent article….

1. According to the Pew Research Center, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971.  Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are.

2. The Pew Research Center has also found that 85 percent of middle class Americans say that it is harder to maintain a middle class standard of living today compared with 10 years ago.

3. 62 percent of middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.

4. The average net worth of a middle class family in America was $129,582 in 2001.  By 2010 that figure had dropped to $93,150.

5. According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of all families in the United States declined “from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010“.

You can find 79 more statistics just like this right here.

At the same time that our incomes are going down, the cost of living just continues to rise steadily.

Thanks Ben Bernanke.

American families are being increasingly stretched financially, and if major changes are not made this is going to get even worse in the years ahead.

Another thing that we aren’t being told on the nightly news is that the percentage of working age Americans that have jobs is lower today than when the last recession ended.

So let’s summarize….

-A smaller percentage of Americans have jobs today compared to June 2009.

-Median household income has declined by 4.8 percent since June 2009.

-American families are far less wealthy than they were just a few years ago.

Are we sure that we are in an economic recovery?

Just look at what is happening to our cities.

The rest of the world once looked at Detroit in awe.

Now it is a global joke.

You can see some incredible photographs of the devastation in Detroit right here.

This kind of thing is happening on the east coast as well.  I have written many times about how horrible life has become in places such as Camden, New Jersey.

Well, now the entire Camden police force is being disbanded, and the policing of the city is going to be turned over to the county.

We are a mess, and it is time to admit that.

Sadly, most Americans simply have no idea how close our economic system really is to total system failure.

Only 24.6 percent of the jobs in this country are “good jobs” at this point, the velocity of money in our economy has plunged to a post-World War II low, unemployment is rampant, more than half of all Americans are at least partially financially dependent on the government and our national debt is crossing the 16 trillion dollar mark.

We don’t need someone to come in and “tweak” the economy.

We need radical reconstructive surgery.

But most Americans do not understand this.

Most Americans do not seem to grasp these things until economic hardship touches them personally.

After all, if you still have a good job and the mainstream media is telling you that everything is going to be okay it is really easy to pretend that we aren’t heading for an economic disaster of unimaginable proportions.

A massive problem that we are facing right now is something known as “normalcy bias”. This is how Wikipedia defines “normalcy bias”….

The normalcy bias, or normality bias, refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of governments to include the populace in its disaster preparations. The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur. It also results in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.

Doesn’t that sound exactly like the vast majority of Americans right now?

Most Americans just assume that since we have always recovered from every other economic downturn in the past that we will always be able to easily handle whatever the future throws at us.

If only that was true.

We are heading into a time that will be unlike anything any of us have ever experienced before, and many people that have blind faith in the system are going to be absolutely devastated when this coming crisis blindsides them.

Our economy has been collapsing, it is continuing to collapse, and the collapse is going to accelerate dramatically in the coming years.

You can have blind faith in the system, or you can get prepared for what is coming.

The choice is up to you.

 

My long-standing record of being a third-party voter has been characterized as “ridiculous” and “impractical”.  As ridiculous and impractical it may seem, it’s what I feel is right.  What’s better – voting for the lesser of two evils?

Perhaps you have heard this argument: “I would vote for a third-party, but they won’t get elected because no one votes for them.”  Well, no duh, genius!  Say something else that’s obvious!  How about the sky is blue?

A couple of months ago, one of my friends posted a comment on Facebook lambasting the president for stump speaking for Democratic candidates around the country (haven’t they all?).  A huge debate and commentary followed, in which, others “upset with the political system” vented frustration at our nation’s political climate.  In basic terms I simply said – and I fear that this might be true – that this is the best that we have, so we might as well learn to deal with it.  Furthermore, I propositioned those who commented with a simple, but apparently difficult ultimatum: What are any of you willing to do about it?

No one answered.

You see, the American people have become just as complacent as the politicians.  We like to keep things nice and tidy, sweep things under the rug when possible.  Gun enthusiasts are livid over the “Fast and Furious” fiasco, but nothing will come of it.  Why?  Because the American people want to see 1% of the corruption and scandal.  To see anything more than necessary would agitate our already conflicted lives.

Rand Paul has already shown his true colors by casting his lot with Mitt Romney.  He could still adhere to the principles that he ran on, he may not – but I’m not so certain that he deserves a second term.  It may have been better for Kentuckians to vote for the Conway fella.

So, alas, I come to my point: If the American people are so chagrined by the policies of this government and those who make them, why do we continue to vote for the “lesser of two evils”?  Why cast your lot with a proven hypocrite?  The definition of insanity is doing something repetitively and expecting a different result.

Does the political arena in the United States sound insane to you?

Today the Republicans in Congress will be voting to repeal Obamacare for the thirty-third time.  This is political rhetoric.  If the GOP wanted to abolish the Affordable Healthcare Act, then they chose the wrong front-man to spearhead the operation.  Nothing gives me the red ass more than to hear someone say this of Romney: “He’s better than Obama!”  Wow!  What a cogent argument!

It’s funny, isn’t it?  In 2004 the Democrats had a flip-flopping liberal from Massachusetts.  Now in 2012 the Republicans have a flip-flopping conservative from Massachusetts.

You can vote for the lesser of two evils, but remember – you’re insane.

What was all that talk in the lead-up to the 2010 elections?  Transparency in government?  No secret meetings?  Out with the establishment?

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Rothschild Dy...

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Rothschild Dynasty, Bilderberg Group, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission (Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)

Smaller government?  End the Fed?  What was all this nonsense we Americans were told?  We should have know better than to trust guarantees handed to us on a silver platter, even if it were from Rand Paul.

It’ been the talk of the week, and when I saw it, I couldn’t believe that I saw that Rand Paul had thrown in support for Romney.  Are you kidding me?!  He’s a liberal in sheep’s clothing, a flip-flopper! – you can’t believe anything he says, this guy!  And apparently, Romney is a 2012 Bilderberg attendee; just like Obama and Hillary Clinton in ’08.

Watch as Mr. Paul brushes off Luke Rudkowski like a gnat:

Here he is two years ago:

Dramatic change!  I’m with Alex Jones, I think that “they” have something on Rand Paul (that blonde looks pretty cute).  I guess that my boss was right – there’s not a politician that’s not crooked.

Eyewitnesses:  Mitt Romney Attended Bilderberg 2012

Four separate hotel staff report seeing presidential candidate

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Four separate eyewitnesses inside the Westfields Marriott hotel in Chantilly Virginia told London Guardian writer Charlie Skelton that Mitt Romney was in attendance at Bilderberg 2012, suggesting the Republican candidate could be the elite’s pick for the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

Eyewitnesses: Mitt Romney Attended Bilderberg 2012 mitt romney taxes 2012 6 5

“Four eyewitnesses on the hotel staff told me Willard Mitt Romney was here at Bilderberg 2012. My four eyewitnesses place him inside. That’s one more than Woodward and Bernstein used. Romney’s office initially refused to confirm or deny his attendance as Bilderberg is “not public”. They later said it was not him,” writes Skelton.

The London Guardian writer adds that the fact Romney’s name did not appear on the official list of attendees is meaningless. Numerous power brokers, including Bill Gates, were photographed arriving at the event yet were not included on the list of participants, as is routinely the case.

With speculation already raging that Romney’s potential VP – Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels – was already being groomed by Bilderberg cronies, Romney’s appearance at the secretive confab of global power brokers suggests that he is being favored by the elite, who have seemingly lost faith in Barack Obama.

As Skelton noted in a separate report, on Saturday afternoon a limousine arrived at the hotel surrounded by a police motorcade, signaling the arrival of a “heavyweight politician”. Could this have been Mitt Romney? It’s unlikely given the fact that he was appearing at fundraisers on the west coast all weekend, but Romney’s schedule for Thursday, the first day of the Bilderberg meeting, was clear.

An invite to the Bilderberg conference has routinely proven beneficial to future Presidents and Prime Ministers.

Four years ago during a heated battle on the campaign trail, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton gave reporters the slip to attend the 2008 Bilderberg meeting at the same hotel. On precisely the same weekend as the confab was taking place, the Washington Post announced that Hillary was withdrawing from the presidential race and would support Obama.

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were both groomed by the secretive organization in the early 1990′s before rising to prominence. Portugal’s Pedro Santana Lopes and Jose Socrates attended the 2004 meeting in Stresa, Italy before both going on to become Prime Minster of Portugal.

Bilderberg also played a key role in selecting John Edwards and John Kerry’s running mate in 2004 and Bilderberg luminary James A. Johnson also hand-picked Joe Biden as VP in 2008.

Confirmation that Romney attended Bilderberg 2012 may be hard to come by, but news that the former Governor of Minnesota’s email account was compromised by a hacker could offer proof, although no emails have been leaked thus far.