IS PEACE POSSIBLE IN AMERICA?
As the website name implies, we’re interested in promoting peace. However, I don’t think most Americans are aware how violent oriented we’ve become, or think about it. It’s like the metaphor; “how to boil a frog”. Briefly, if you aren’t aware of this story; You put the frog in in pot on the stove in water temperature comfortable for the frog so he doesn’t jump out. Then you slowly raise the temperature so the frog doesn’t notice, next thing you know you have boiled frog. (This is a metaphor, please for the sake of frogs, don’t do this at home.)
The growth of American violence indicators has increased in the new millennium rapidly. Our early history in the colonial America’s wilderness, Indians, lawlessness, isolation and numerous wars created an early violent beginning.
America has seemed to accept war routinely, since there has only been 21 years of peace since our beginning. War has always seemed fearful certainly to our population, but with the threat of thermal nuclear war, the spread of countries with weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and the apparent unpredictability of some international leaders has turned the water temperature significantly up.
We were soldiers. (Many of us are or have been)
LIVING AMERICAN VETERANS 21,065,561 09/30/2017 (VA.GOV 04/19)
The projected active duty end strength in the armed forces for FY 2017 was 1,281,900 people, with an additional 801,200 people in the seven reserve components. (GOOGLE SEARCH PAGE SUMMARY, 05/17)
Our National Priority appears to be Military Strength. According to the OMB via (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 4, 2016) 2% is spent on infrastructure, 3% on Education, 2% on Science and Medical research, 10% on safety net programs. $600 Billion is military spending.
Military Spending in the United States. In fiscal year 2015, military spending is projected to account for 54 percent of all federal discretionary spending, a total of $598.5 billion. (GOOGLE SEARCH PAGE SUMMARY, 05/17)
The above data isn’t intended to complain about our priorities, but rather to see what Americans have come to accept as the status quo, and how many Americans have been directly touched by the violence of war. Thus increasing our pot temperature. This frog is getting hot.
But why do Americans accept our leaders war mentality, ok US security mentality, and the lopsided priorities of our tax dollars on the military. The large number of veterans surely didn’t come back and say; “hot damn, that was fun, war is the bomb.” Some did, but I think most believe they served their country honorably, and war is not a good thing. I salute veterans, I am a Vietnam veteran, and I’m proud of our veterans and soldiers. Yet, I believe war is not a good thing. Yet we keep repeating it. Remember 93% of the time since America’s birth we’ve been at some form of war. Not all were large conflicts, look at the link above. One thing that stood out to me was the years we were at war or invaded Mexico. Since 1846 we have fought Mexico 35 years in total. Wow, they should maybe consider building that wall, for their protection.
PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION FOR WAR
As many as 97% of US kids age 12-17 play video games…. More than half of the top 50 video games contain violence.
Violent video games have been blamed for school shootings, bullying, and violence towards women. (PROCON.ORG, 06/03/16)
By age 18, a U.S. youth will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence. American Psychiatric Association –(PARENTAL TELEVISION COUNSIL)
American sports become more violent every year. Wrestling looks brutal, MMA fighting is brutal. Watch a MMA match fight and the below video and enough said.
Much research data, and opinions have come out about the effect of Video games and Violent TV supporting one position or another of the effect on youth. Common sense alone would tell me it’s going to de-synthesize people toward violence, and make it more acceptable mentally.
However some of the latest scientific findings which wasn’t available in most of the research previously, makes me wonder what we’re producing.
Mirror Neurons. When you watch another persons activity or action your brain fires neurons as if you were doing the action. Most are hailing this great new discovery. But how about when a video games has a sword slicing and dicing, or MMA fight beating the blood our of some lady on the floor. Our mirror neurons are firing with each punch, our limbs are stopped short by the brain from actually moving our fist, but it’s playing it out. Thus in Cops reality shows, Violent Sports, Video Games, Violent Movies, and headline news if they reported world news instead of mostly anti-Trump news, our children’s mirror neurons are firing away, their brain’s imitating all this.
This is alarming why, besides obvious psychological effects, they have discovered Brain plasticity. This is where the brain is capable of “rewiring” itself for frequent activities, emotions etc. Then new discoveries in epigenetics have discovered a limited plasticity to DNA. Research now indicates your DNA and neural pathways are altered by experience, stress, and environment. This is definitely screams for more research papers.
There is increasing evidence that epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, are present across species, are modifiable by the environment, and are involved in developmental plasticity. (National Library of Medicine ,National Institutes of Health HHS public access).
(There is much data, more palatable on TED, YouTube, Wikipedia and Google search engine)
In conclusion are we building bionic soldiers, capable of more violence each generation. Not only soldiers, but criminals, democrat leftist demonstrators, and Berkley University professors. Furthermore, we have been doing this increasingly, this millennium. Our frog is now dead. We are headed as a nation toward a polar opposite of peace, and increasingly toward greater militarization, violence, and hatred. Life Matters. Will this eventually create the destruction of our nation?
James Kirk-Wiggins © May 2017