Archive for the ‘Social Commentary’ Category

By R.C. Seely

THE MEDIA HAS REPORTED that “malls across the country are dying off.” The supposed culprit for their demise is the internet and it’s impact on the business models. I don’t think so. The internet simply demonstrated the vulnerability of big business, they over extended themselves. 

    At times of excess before the great recession of 2008, the biggest retail organizations in the United States just kept building while ignoring the looming change in business. The internet did what mail order did and gave the customer more options; in areas with few brick and mortar stores, this proved to be a saving grace; in areas with more stores losses were inevitable. 

    And with both additions to the market, the “big boys” complained about the competition, but ignored the fact they were responsible for the damage by not adapting when they should have. So they had to perform massive scaling back measures closing many stores and cutting the jobs. That’s the bad news. 

    The good news is that the internet has made it easier for the little guys to fill the niches. Online commerce has proven to be the leveler of the market that had been distorted by big corporations, all thanks to the minimal regulations and restrictions on the “information superhighway.” The internet is mostly tax-free on products, and fees for advertising and selling are minimal, making it ideal for growth.

    The internet was sent up in the 1980s, and started showing the signs of the coming changes in the nineties. By the early 2000s if you didn’t have an email address for your business you were behind the curb, the big companies least affected by the web already designed a solid online infrastructure. Target, Walmart and Home Depot, didn’t lose as many stores as the other large corporations. They welcomed the new manner in doing business and fewer local economies were hurt. 

    The damage done wasn’t due to the internet but short-sightedness on the part of the large companies who foolishly believed the internet was simply a fad–a similar sentiment about mail order, I’m sure. It’s a fairly effective way to avoid culpability for your failures, and make the other guy look bad for doing so.

    Many of us do business almost entirely online thanks to Amazon. All my books couldn’t be possible without the services of Createspace, one of Amazon’s subsidiaries. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything the company does, but they perform services along with selling discounted products that benefit the consumer and that can’t be denied. 

    Amazon has also given another point of consideration, while many are shutting down their brick and mortar stores, this retail giant recently opened it’s first one. Clearly they don’t see this as the end of malls and they have been pretty accurate in their predictions so far.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

CRITICS OF CAPITALISM ARE eager to point out the hypocrisy of us capitalists statement of “Communism (or Socialism, or Progressivism, or any other isms) has killed X number of people.” They point out that many have died from capitalism. Since capitalism doesn’t make the promises of perfection that the other mentioned isms do, that’s a false comparison but it’s not the only problem. It also discounts the lives that have been improved or saved because of capitalism.

The instinct to assist perfect strangers in disasters in one such example. Charity is a free market concept, the isms are by force, hence not true charity.

Now take that and multiply it and you have the potential for good that a company is capable of. During the natural disasters–the hurricanes Harvey and Irma, for example–one of the first organizations to help out is also one of the largest, The Home Depot. Volunteerism is a large part of the core culture of the company and it’s not by government force but free market forces. At the end of the day, it’s charity and because of their name recognition that to they act. Two concepts of the free market.

It’s not only because of the need from natural disasters that innovations are born. One such innovation was mentioned in CanadianBusiness.com:

    “Canadians are pretty good at flying things into tough-to-reach places. We’ve produced iconic backcountry aircraft such as the Twin Otter, the Dash 8 and the Beaver, and if Jay Godsall’s plans play out, the Caracal, the Chui and the Nanuq will soon join that list. These three “buoyantly assisted aircraft” are designed to go where traditional transportation can’t (at least, not easily). And they do it using a small fraction of the fuel that a traditional jet would need.  

Developed by Godsall’s Toronto-based company, Solar Ship Inc., these aircraft gain lift from a wing that pairs buoyant helium gas with aerofoil geometry. Powered by fuel that can be offset with energy drawn from photovoltaic solar panels, the unique aircraft have been dubbed “hybrid hybrids.” They can take off and land in a few hundred metres and come packaged with all necessary storage, energy and communications infrastructure. “You could be dropped off with it anywhere, and you’d have everything you need to get out again,” Godsall explains. No airports, access roads or power lines needed.” 

    The ways that such an aircraft could save lives isn’t difficult to imagine.

    From Cambridge Massachusetts, a startup has developed a form of wearable technology with numerous health implications–the Biostamp. The practically invisible sticker stretches with the skin and is mostly used for monitoring body temperature and hydration of the wearer. But the future innovations planned are for digestible and surgically applied tech. One specific development is that of contact lenses for monitoring diabetics blood sugar levels.

    According to a Pew Research study the number of people lifted from poverty–living on $2.00 or less a day–between 2001-2011 was 700 million. Poverty is and has been a global killer. GMOs help since they can be grown anywhere but are there other options as well. Yes, there’s an app for that. SokoText, is tackling that problem.     

    The for-profit is handling the issues by buying below and selling low, buying at 30% below retail and selling at 20% below to vendors. “By aggregating individual purchasing orders, SokoTech can obtain produce on behalf of local fruit and vegetables vendors at wholesale prices,” reports Canadian Business.com. Just like so many other tech company this text-message-based firm generates it funding through mobile phone ads.

    These are all fairly recent companies, so the true scope of their impact is yet to be felt. But they are following in the footsteps of many others who have offered us more options, which make our lives better if not saving them entirely. From amber alerts that make children’s lives safer, to the innovation of lamp oil that cut back on whaling for whale oil. 

    Medical tech, communications, entertainment, food and everything else was brought to you by the “selfish” self-interest of its inventor. Whether for profit, notoriety, or charity the motive was some form of gain for the actor. That is the Quintessential Virtue of Greed.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.


By R.C. Seely

COLIN KAEPERNICK CREATED a sense of notoriety for himself when he decided that he wouldn’t stand for the national anthem. Since then, the NFL and many of the owners have sanctioned the idea and made it the new policy.

Besides the original protests, Kaepernick joined with the Native American “Unthanksgiving” movement. There has been enough discussion on this matter, so I won’t further engage in it (besides at this point I find it simply boring). Critics of Kaepernick and the other players have called him ungrateful, which got me thinking about gratitude … What is it? How does it affect us?

Author Melody Beattie, has this to say:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” 

    

As appealing as that literary declaration is, does it have anything more substantial to back it? According to a Forbes article by Amy Morin on the subject, yes it does. Here’s a sample:

… In fact, gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools [for improving health] that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesnt cost any money and it certainly doesnt take much time, but the benefits are enormous. Research reveals gratitude can have these seven benefits: 

1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Not only does sayingthank youconstitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2104 study published in Emotion

2. Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular checkups with their doctors, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.

3. Gratitude improves psychological healthGratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and wellbeing. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression

4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggressionGrateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kind, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky

5. Grateful people sleep better. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and WellBeing

6. Gratitude improves selfesteemA 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes selfesteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance

7. Gratitude increases mental strengthFor years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma…”


     Kaepernick and the rest of the NFL need to learn a lesson about gratitude, being grateful for their audience. That’s what the major issue has been. Other celebrities have done their protesting at inappropriate times, on the audiences time, and paid the price for it as well. Linda Ronstadt did an anti-bush tirade during a performance in Las Vegas and was booed. That’s not giving gratitude to those who came to hear you sing. Then there are bands like Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold, who can get away with it, but why? It’s more acceptable because both have social and political activism built into their songs. It’s a part of the show that the audience paid for.

    More specifically to the NFL, they not only disrespected the audience, but demonstrated they’re out of touch with them. Many sports enthusiasts are conservative patriots, who view such actions as intolerable. Yes, the players have a right to free speech but at times expressing your views does have consequences. 

    If the NFL wants to gain back the support of their audience they will have to demonstrate they are willing to listen them and the sponsors. Others wise it appears they don’t appreciate them and aren’t dependent on them–which they are! For starters, publicly apologize and don’t let the players protest before the games, save that for their own time.

    As for the issue they are protesting, this is not an effective way to reach people; when a group of rich athletes do a stunt like that they appear out of touch. If they want to demonstrate they truly care, they have to donate their money and time to make those areas of economic turmoil better. Or use your assets to fight against the laws that keep those who live in squalor out of modern slavery–policies such as, the “War on Poverty,” government run Indian reservations or the social welfare programs. 

    I don’t know if Kaepernick, or any of the NFL protestors for that matter, are doing this for themselves or to help others. Fighting against police brutality is an admirable cause but not if you alienate those around you. If you don’t see what you have to be appreciative, you can’t see clearly how fix problems in your life, let alone the world. Gratitude clears your mind and body, making everything better. If Kaepernick had been more grateful he wouldn’t have dropped the ball in his career or his activism.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.



By R.C. Seely

WHEN A “CRIME” OR SIN, was committed in a Puritan commune, the punishments were severe and inhumane. Probably the most tame was having to wear a sign with a crimson initial–the Scarlet letter–of your transgression where ever you went.

But that was a long time ago, surly we have moved past all that, right? Apparently not. Starting with Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein, we have seen a litany of allegations of sexual abuse and harassment. Weinstein has suffered the worse of it, with many actresses claiming he took advantage of them to advance their careers.

What’s also interesting is how the claims are being prioritized. Those made against Mariah Carey by her body guards have gotten little attention.

Not to sound callous, but the nature of the showbiz industry is not exactly a big secret. You fall in line and do what your told or you move on. This is not to say I condone it, just saying you know what you’re getting yourself into. And now is it possible to change it? Doubt it.

It’s not just Hollywood that has to be concerned, this has affected politicians as well. The two most suspicious ones are the allegations against Judge Roy Moore and Jeff Sessions. The timing is just too convenient. Moore is running for office and Sessions is on the verge of getting replaced. Dirty politics at play here? Very likely. No matter how you feel about those accused of such things, you should be worried. This silences the voice of the voters.

Another politician who has been marked is Senator Al Franken but this one is different. For starters, the accuser–Leeann Tweeden–is not asking for any form of retribution, simply trying to empower of legitimate victims of abuse. Joe Biden too, has been accused of having “friendly hands” by the Senators children.

Inevitably, President Trump has been marked, in yet another attempt by the Democrats to “dethrone” him as Commander in Chief. With numerous claims of impropriety weighing on him, how can he possibly be deemed a valid sitting president? Ask Bill Clinton how he handled it. Or one of the many other previous executive office holders before him.

In yet another lie by the Sleeping Media, during a press conference one reporter asked why the administration called out Franken but not Moore. In a tweet, Trump said that if Moore did do what he was accused of he should step down. And there is photographic evidence to back up Tweeden’s claim against Franken. While Trump is being accused of playing politics, it appears he’s the only one not guilty of that.

Such acts of assault are the worst kinds of power and control over others, and should have hefty consequences if found guilty. But should the false accusations of harassment and those do happen. It’s not even uncommon; sometimes the claims are intentionally malicious, others simply a misunderstanding. Even the harassment accusations can ruin lives and should not be taken lightly. More than that, such laws and work related repercussions are ineffective and many times useless. Think about, basically you’re asking an irrational person to act rationally. So the innocent and rational person will comply and the one capable of such acts will find an easier target. What could help with that is a more clear concise definition for harassment, one less open to interpretation.

It might seem misogynistic but asking for scrutiny of the accusers is not invalid. It’s routine in every other crime but is being scaled down in harassment cases and that’s because of the feminist movements protestations. That’s not to say they didn’t helped changed things in a good way either, by shaking up the “good ole boys” clubs but have taken it too far. There has to be a third route of reason, away from the “good ole boys” and the radical, man-hating feminists. If calm discussion can’t be held, this will one more time when the solution is more bravado than substance. At the moment the current environment feels eerily similar to that of Salem, so who’s the next to hang.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

I’VE ALWAYS BEEN AN OPPONENT of Socialism and recent events are one of the biggest reasons why. A few days after Halloween, Rene Boucher, brutally attacked Senator Rand Paul at his residence in Kentucky. The attack has left the Senator in extreme pain and he has five broken ribs from the encounter, which could end up life threatening.

Even with the continuing feud between the neighbors, the motive for the attack was reported as political by the FBI. Boucher is a Bernie Sanders supporter who took his passion to an action and a reprehensible action at that.

This is not a condemnation of Sanders supporters, not all are like this and the ones I know personally wouldn’t do this. But this is bigger than Sanders, it’s about the inherent violence in a Socialist society.

Violence as a source of control is part of the movement because people–such as myself–will never succumb to it any other way. If this is the path to establishing Socialism, what would the Socialist society of the United States be like? Pretty much like Venezuela or Brazil. A state of limited resources and a constant authority presence. A state where basic needs, like toilet paper, are as valuable as gold because of their scarcity. Where innovations are gone and prices are sky high.

And violence has truly become the “new normal,” not from an armed assailant but from a federalized police force. In other words, the violence that anarchists used to institute their beloved social order of collectivism is nothing compared to what is to come if they succeed in the agenda.

Fellow supporters of the cause dismiss such actions as their passion getting away from them. I’m so sick of hearing that! While such heinous acts do happen from the right, they are not common; from the left, they are part of the playbook, literally. Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals, not only didn’t shy away from violence but encourages it. Neither do Unions, another vessel of Socialism. Or race activists or feminists. Or environmental zealots. It’s difficult to find activist groups of the left that dont advocate or at least tolerate violence for the cause.

One could argue that such violence was used by the nation’s founders, that these attacks are valid now. The acts of violence back then was a response to violence already used against them by the representatives of the King. Rand Paul was mowing his front lawn while beaten. Does that sound like the same thing to you? Does the Senator seem the monarch that stripped his neighbor of his rights? Violence during a revolution is at times necessary but it only holds validation when in selfdefense, which far too often is lacking by Socialism’s advocates.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books about pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

IT’S A STORY THAT HAS BEEN told from history–“it was a dark and stormy night in 1815, when Mary Shelly and her hosts started telling ghost stories, that night she had a dream which inspired her take and the book Frankenstein was born.”

    That’s not all there is, however. One thing that influenced the story was her activist roots. She was rather born into it, her parents being suffragists and her father making sure she lived up to those feminist ideals of her mother who died in child birth.  Oh great he’s going to go into another anti-feminist rant. Actually no, she was a feminist in the same vein as Lucy Ball and Camilla Paglia, not Gloria Stenim. But her activism is cause for concern. 

    She wasn’t just a feminist, she was also against the age of enlightenment, specifically when it came to Medical technology. Basically she had a similar attitude then as those who still oppose Medical marijuana today. It doesn’t matter if there’s a benefit to people or they should have the option of utilizing a treatment, it’s said it could be harmful so it’s not worth the risk.

    The monster was an analogy of the idea of technology unrestrained but it was a fear that has always been unfounded. There have always been ethical concerns and debates in medicine and as the technology improves so do the debates. Did Mary Shelly have anything to do with that? Maybe, but not intentionally, she didn’t want the technology to exist at all according to the history books. 

   And think she would be appalled with how pop culture has adapted her story. The 1931 Universal Pictures classic adaptation of Frankenstein, altered the monster from a homicidal killer without remorse to a victim. The victim notion opens up the debate of whether the technology still is valid for research. It was simply as mistake that time maybe if it’s repeated it could be done right. 

    The 1935 classic Bride of Frankenstein also makes an odd prediction of the future of the technology. The doctor to enlist the assistance of Doctor Frankenstein in his experiments, explains that he grew his miniature people from “seeds” rather than stitching them from corpses. These “seeds” that he was discussing sounds like a rudimentary understanding of stem cells and genetics technology. We are seeing the early stages of this science right now, as it develops we will have the option to routinely use the cells from our own bodies to grow healthy replacement organs for transplants, guaranteeing a successful surgery. And no need for the donors to put themselves at any risk at all.

    The concept that makes more sense came from the late author Dr. Micheal Crichton. He claims in his books that while treading carefully would serve most prudent, research into the Medical technology and sciences is still best for all mankind. And he does have a little more knowledge on the subject.

    While authors such as Stephen King and Mary Shelly sit back and postulate the most outlandish and unlikely worst case scenarios to dissuade their readers from supporting possibly life saving sciences, those who understand it best says proceeding tentatively is the right course. Who ends up the real monster then?

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books about pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

FOR THE MOST PART, you won’t hear much raving about either recycling or Europe’s policies on food from this website.

Parts of Europe have bans on certain foods that make the most ambitious trans fat ban in this country seem tame. And as for recycling, unless you’re a large corporate reselling your cardboard, there’s not even enough of an incentive economically to justify the energy and time wasted.

But if you put the two together–food programs and recycling–you do get something that does make sense, Food Recycling. In parts of Europe this initiative has been tried and in my opinion, it’s a good program.

Basically, it works like other recycling programs for non-consumable products. The United States have adopted food recycling programs as well and has competing companies that it, the most well-known being Waste Management services.

Food Recycling has three different ratings that are used to figure the best way to utilize the recycled products; the highest is for human consumption (because the modern human has a more sensitive digestive system), then feed for livestock and lastly if deemed completely inedible and unsafe for consumption it is used as fertilizers. The first, is basically best left to company like Waste Management but if you have your own livestock, pet dog or cat, or for fertilizer you can take care of it yourself.

However, you look at it, this is one of the few recycling initiatives that can benefit everyone involved. Recycling in general doesn’t really offer much ecologically but it can economically, usually only if you have a large-scale operation, though. With Food Recycling, you can save money on both fertilizers or food staples for animals, if done through Waste Management and deemed safe for people it could be an alternative to federal food stamps programs. That would safe us all money.

In the state of Utah, these programs would make even more sense, since they have as part of their policy on alcoholic beverages that you have to order food with your drinks. How much food do you think is tossed out at restaurants because of this law? I’d guess quite a bit and if it can be better used, then might as well.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books about pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.