Is America Done?

East Liverpool, Ohio--a town with "no jobs" and "no recreation"
East Liverpool, Ohio–a town with “no jobs” and “no recreation”

In 1969, Niel Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted an American flag on the moon. In 2016, Americans can’t figure out how to not overdose on heroin:

Unconscious addicts are so frequently dumped in the hospital parking lot that administrators developed a special alert system to treat them. Paramedics have plucked overdose victims from roadside ditches, from the Walmart parking lot, and from living rooms across town. It has become routine for children to see a passed-out parent jolted to life with a dose of Narcan.

“Do you know how many houses we go into that the kids are sitting on the couch watching us?” said paramedic Christine Lerussi. …

The despair here echoes across the country. But the opioid crisis is particularly acute in Ohio. Last year, a record 3,050 people in the state died of drug overdoses. Overdoses from the potent opioid fentanyl more than doubled, to 1,155.

Spend a few days in East Liverpool and it’s easy to see why. Drug dealers from out of state flock to the desolate streets, selling powerful highs for $10 or $15 a pop. For too many residents, there’s little else: No jobs. No recreation. No long-term addiction treatment.

No recreation?

The fuck is this shit?

Pardon my language, but I have a tiny computer that fits in my pocket and lets me instantly access almost the entirety of human knowledge, talk to people from all over the globe, and play Angry Birds any time I want to. My TV offers hundreds of entertainment channels 24 hours a day. My kids are so ceaselessly entertaining and cute, you don’t want to get me started about all of the great things they did today. Like the good folks of East Liverpool, I have woods to walk in, rivers to boat in, lakes to fish in, a garden to tend, libraries to enjoy, and neighbors to chat with.

Where, exactly, does “recreation” come from? The magic recreation fairy? Is it dropped from the sky? Does it happen when someone builds a museum and starts showing Broadway musicals? (This is why no one does drugs in NYC, of course.)

Is there something about the soil in East Liverpool that prevents its residents from going on picnics, forming a sewing club, or reading a good book?

OF COURSE NOT.

There was no heroin epidemic here in the ’50s. Was there more “recreation” then?

No, there was far less. We had like 4 TV channels, and they stopped broadcasting at night. People didn’t have microwaves or clothes dryers, so housewives spent hours every day cooking and cleaning. With no AC and no video games, kids ran around outside, climbed trees, or rode their bikes. On Sunday they went to church. They had far less recreation and they still managed not to overdose on heroin in front of their children.

Recreation comes from people. Jobs come from people. Culture comes from people.

The ugly truth of the matter is that people today would rather drug themselves into oblivion than go on living.

From Alabama.com:

picture-9South Precinct officers responded just before 9 p.m. to an apartment at Tom Brown Village public housing community on Fifth Court North. Neighbors called 911 after hearing the children crying inside the apartment and checked on them, only to find the mother and father unconscious inside.

When police arrived on the scene, they found the 30-year-old father dead on the kitchen floor. The 35-year-old mother was unresponsive on the couch but did have a pulse. Rescue workers were able to revive her with Narcan, and she was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital.

South Precinct Lt. David Rockett said officers found four children inside, all of whom belonged to the couple: a 7-year-old girl, a 3-year-old boy, a 2-year-old boy and a 1-month-old girl.

The WaPo reports:

For more than a day, the 7-year-old girl had been trying to wake her parents.

Dutifully, she got dressed in their apartment outside Pittsburgh on Monday morning and went to school, keeping her worries to herself. But on the bus ride home, McKeesport, Pa., police say, she told the driver she’d been unable to rouse the adults in her house.

Inside the home, authorities found the bodies of Christopher Dilly, 26, and Jessica Lally, 25, dead of suspected drug overdoses, according to police.

Also inside the home were three other children — ages 5 years, 3 years and 9 months.

IF YOU CANNOT LIVE FOR YOURSELF, THEN AT LEAST LIVE FOR YOUR CHILDREN. If you are unconscious, overdosed, or dead, what the hell do you think is going to happen to you baby? If it weren’t for the police, these children would all be dead. Oh, and by the way:

…authorities told NBC affiliate WPXI that the double overdose at the 7-year-old’s home was the second they had responded to on that block in less than a day. … ” In the past year alone we lost over 3,500 Pennsylvanians — a thousand more lives taken than the year before.” … Nationwide, opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers killed more than 28,000 people in 2014, more than any year on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least half of all opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription drug, the CDC said, adding that the number of overdose deaths involving opioids has nearly quadrupled nationwide since 1999.

Want to stop the drug epidemic? Put people who’ve overdosed in the stocks and let everyone throw rotten tomatoes at them. For a second offense, lashings. Drug dealers are serial killers and should be publicly executed. Set a few dealers twisting in the wind, and I guarantee that far fewer people will be willing to sell drugs.

Then stop making excuses, go out into the world, and LIVE.

Or you’re going to be replaced by people who do.

 

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25 thoughts on “Is America Done?

  1. Thanks for the thought provoking post
    There are big groups of the population at that level, not just in the US. Many of the Canadian native are also in that situation, however they tend to use suicide by other means more than death by drugs.

    We do have an economically overpopulated, that is more people than the land will support, so what is the solution? a no child ideology? A self responsible ideology? or both.

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    • Rehab is a cure for PTSD (the cause of most of the drug problem)? That is news. More likely rehab is just a con to stay out of jail.

      BTW the more pressure governments put on drug supply the more profitable supplying is. Profits will attract people to the supply side. We learned that from Alcohol Prohibition. Didn’t we?

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  2. Drug dealers are serial killers and should be publicly executed.

    I agree. Drug dealers are mass murderers.

    No jobs. No recreation.

    When I see this, I think, “Extremely high crime, such that people are afraid to go outside.”

    :Google:

    https://rustwire.com/2014/10/23/east-liverpool-and-the-unforgiving-economy-of-rural-appalachia/

    Nearly 30 percent of all residents live below the poverty level. The per capita income is just more than $16,000. The unemployment rate is 13 percent. It’s a city where almost every second or third house seems to be abandoned, and not just abandoned. Some are burnt out. Some are falling down. The locals talk about the incessant and merciless drug traffic. They say dealers have come up to the city from the east coast – having found a robust market for heroin and other opiates. The drug trade wreaks constant havoc on the streets. In late September, five people were shot there in a single night.

    “Welcome to East Liverpool, Ohio, home of one of the world’s largest hazardous waste incinerators” (no link so as not to go to spam):

    driving down some of the city’s worst streets these days is like negotiating a vehicle down a Third World goat path. A motorist needs to keep a vehicle well under the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit or a flat tire, a broken tie rod, or a busted shock or strut would surely be the result. Some streets are so bad, like Fourth Street, where a popular hot dog shop, the town’s daily newspaper, The Review, and a little junior college, the Kent State University East Liverpool campus sit, that a motorist cannot drive more than 5 miles per hour or a front-end alignment and new shocks would be needed….

    “The typical resident who lives here is more concerned with the crack house on the corner of their street, the city’s high crime rate, or about the lack of jobs. The hazardous waste incinerator isn’t much of an issue for them,” Boyle said….

    “Little Blue’s fly ash has a lot of arsenic in it. Now it’s solidified mostly, and is not a liquid. It’s more like a sludge. You can taste particles of dust in your mouth if you go through Hookstown. This dust flies around and is airborne,” Kiger added. Little Blue sits right above the intake value for East Liverpool’s water supply….

    “We’re 186 points above the national average for cancer. USA Today published a special report that showed that East Liverpool had the highest concentration of airborne manganese in the United States, and East Elementary School (at 1417 Eruria Street), topped the scales.”

    (Oh, right, pollution can be an issue too. Did not think of that.)

    …you thought you found a lame excuse, but I think you actually found a ridiculously extreme euphemism.

    It’s time to get tough on crime.

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    • Thanks for the information. Crime and pollution, from the sounds of it. I think if you can taste the arsenic in the air, that’s a serious problem. Man.

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  3. You really should look up the connection between drugs and PTSD. Every single basic article on PTSD has a bit on addiction.

    Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin addicts had been sexually abused in childhood. Maybe the epidemic is an epidemic of child abuse.

    BTW the VA prescribes opiates for severe cases of PTSD.

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  4. Definitely a lot of anger here, and I sympathize.

    Certainly “lack of entertainment” was a euphemism that is more annoying than anything else. I read it as “lack of upper class consumption, like coffee shops and independent bookstores and foodie bistros” that media professionals judge the quality of urban neighborhoods by. You’re totally right that “lack of fun things to do” can’t be the actual reason behind anti-social behavior.

    But I’d question your logic in a number of other places.

    1. I really wouldn’t assume that substance abuse is a new problem, that did not exist in this country before. We may have talked about it less, but dig in to any struggling community, going back to the colonizing of this country, and you’ll get tales of alcohol abuse, prescription abuse, and whatever other drugs were common at the time but aren’t well known anymore. By default, one should try to resist the flashy appeal of articles that say some lurid pandemic is a new problem.

    2. Elsewhere you’ve argued that people should have more kids. This article is why they shouldn’t. People should only have kids if they truly want to commit their life to them. If you don’t want that, then dear god, do not create some human beings who will be dependent on you. Most of the time the new parents will be conscientious anyway, but sometimes they won’t and the results are terrible. You are right that populations have traditionally grown by having pressure on everyone to have kids whether they were ready or not… but those circumstances also led to a lot of child abandonment and abuse that we now have the luxury to avoid.

    3. I think you know well from your experience with SJW communities how well “being visibly extremely tough on people who violate community norms” leads to actually good communities. Driving out the malefactors at all costs – especially to “send a message” – just makes everyone miserable.

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    • 1. I agree that we should be careful, because shocking stories sell better than reasonable ones.
      But death rates are up among middle-aged and younger whites, especially in Appalachia. This is an odd group to start dying more, and it looks like drugs may be part of the cause.

      2. I’ve never advocated that people should have more kids–I’m generally in favor of less population, not more. I have advocated that high-IQ people shouldn’t be taking themselves out of the gene pool, though. Certainly, I think people who really aren’t kid-people shouldn’t have kids.

      3. Okay, maybe lashings are a bad idea. Let’s just execute a few drug dealers and let the users go to rehab.

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  5. What strikes me most about addictions is how much support/enabling is around them. I do not have much experience with drug addictions (coffee doesn’t count, and anyway I can stop any time I want. Really!), but when it comes to alcohol I did come across an alcoholic or two.

    They all had extra money to cover for their vice, not to mention a family (and the State, to some extend) who pick up the slack in the addicts’ lives. Even in the story, one little girl confines in a bus driver, suggesting that in theory she could be fine WITHOUT her addict parents: after all, the school probably fed her, the bus took care of commuting back and forth.

    The small time weed smokers I know too always had money for a pack or two, because they were living at home or with ‘understanding’ roommates.

    I myself am probably lucky not to have a substance dependence prone personality (Coffee is not a drug. It’s basically just juice made out of berry seeds. Like a smoothie.), but one more thing that kept me from ever trying, apart from being REALLY broke as a teen, is that I was afraid of being taken advantage of while high. I cannot imagine a high worth potentially losing money or health.

    But most addicts go in, apparently not worried of being robbed, losing their (limited) possessions. And guess what in many cases, they ARE ok once they came out: someone took pity and called a police and they reanimated them; a family member will pay for a rehab, a neighbor will babysit children who are left out in a cold.

    I don’t know what the solution is, but I wonder if modern society is simply set up NOT to let the grasshopper to freeze in the winter. And with the basic income most likely to be implemented more and more in one way or another we might see more of this state sanctioned drug addiction.

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    • I’ve known a couple of homeless alcoholics. One of them died, basically from the alcohol. Their family had already done everything they could before kicking them out of the house. Sad case. The other one had already been homeless for years before they started drinking due to loneliness. After ending up in the hospital a few times, they decided to get sober–mostly, the “friends” they made in rehab made life less lonely, so they didn’t feel the need to drink all the time.

      These may have been extreme cases, though.

      I, too, am reluctant to do any kind of drugs because I don’t like the idea of not being in control of myself/my safety.

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  6. I can tell you why. Or at least I think I can. The real “recreation” human brains crave is the dopamine hits coming from expecting social status gains. “Ambition” means wanting to acquire social status and this is literally what people did through all history, trying to achieve social status via getting money, noble rank, fame, power etc.

    These Ohioans see no way to gain status. To the unconnected middle class guy, status used to be mostly money. But money does not buy status anymore.

    They could move somewhere else where jobs are plenty. Buy an expensive car. And then? In the past the neihborhood was a community and that community assigned you status for the expensive car. Today neighborhoods are not communities and you get status for driving a Prius not a Lambo. These are the two reasons.

    I know because I suffer from it, here in Central Europe as well money does not buy you status. Partially nothing does because people are simply not that interested in each other anymore to assign status to others, and partially it is Prog Cred that does it. Maybe I should move to Romania, there if you drive a Porsche, which within my means if I buy it 8 years old, makes you treated like a celebrity.

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    • The modern world has, in many ways, deprived us of activities that used to provide us satisfaction. People used to work hard for their bread, so our brains reward us for doing hard work, but today you can earn your bread by sitting in an office. Nothing wrong with sitting in an office, but your brain doesn’t reward you for it in the same way, and then you’re left feeling empty.

      This same process is repeated over and over in every part of life.

      Thanks for your perspective; which parts of Europe do you include in Central Europe? (Pardon me for asking, I’m not trying to be difficult, it’s just that people sometimes use the phrase differently.)

      Like

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