Who Commits Murders and Why?

Murders are committed daily.  There are murders for hire; there are murders for revenge; there are murders for money; there are murders for love; there are murders for hate… the list goes on for quite a distance.  So, who commits all these murders?

We all do.  All of us are fully capable of committing murder.  Anybody will commit murder under the right circumstances.  It is foolish to deny it.  If you had to protect your family, wouldn’t you kill an armed burglar?  If you were in the military, wouldn’t you kill the enemy before they killed you?  I could provide hundreds of scenarios where even the most ethical and highly religious individuals would still kill.

I suppose that legally, not all killings would be adjudged murders.  If you kill somebody in self defense or you are serving in the military, you typically would not be charged with murder.  However, for the purposes of our discussion, we are defining murder as the killing of another human being, no matter what the reason.  In other words, there is no defense for killing a human being.  Taking another’s life, no matter what the reason, is considered murder in this article.

So why do we murder?  Is it because we had a bad childhood?  Is it because we were sexually molested when we were in grade school?  Is it because we were socially deprived?  Is it because we were poor?  Is it because we got hooked on drugs?  Is it because we mentally deficient?  Some or all of these things may be ingredients leading up to the final recipe of committing murder, but the final decision to kill is very intentional.  It is quite possible that your murder was a crime of passion, but you still decided to kill.  It doesn’t matter that you made the choice to murder two months ago or two seconds ago.  It still was your decision.

When murderers were interviewed by a writer whom the convicts trusted, he discovered that all of the killers made a conscious decision to murder.  None of them denied that murder was a choice that they made.  It is possible that you could be in a drug or alcohol stupor and not know what you were doing at the time of the murder, but you intentionally put yourself in that condition and must accept the consequences.  Even drunks make choices… just usually bad ones.

The only difficult area is somebody who has a mental illness who commits murder.  If they do not have the ability to understand what they are doing, do they decide to murder?  My answer may be controversial, but I believe those who are mentally incapacitated also choose to murder.  The mental deficiency may impair their decision making process, but it does not stop it.  They still decide to kill.  A mental patient may think that he is killing the devil when he shoots a priest, but he still makes a conscious decision to pull the trigger.

So, like I said earlier:  all of us are capable of committing murder.  And we commit murders after we decide to take a life.  The reasons for murder vary from individual to individual.  But all murders are committed because of choices that were made by these individuals.

What Is Sin?

Somebody asked me years ago what sin was, and I recall telling them that it was anything taken to extremes.  Back then, I thought moderation was the key to modifying all behavior.  Today, I’m not so sure that is the answer.  I still believe that moderation is very important in a social setting, but I wonder if there is a better definition of sin for the afterlife.

After you die and if you are still thinking, you would not want to carry any sins with you as baggage on your trip through the dark underworld.  So what is the definition of this type of sin?  Well, it must be anything you have done that causes you to feel guilty.  Thus, guilt could drag your after-life thoughts down into the depths of eternal depression.

We know that Christianity offers a way to avoid this.  By believing that Jesus died for your sins, then your sin debts are paid in full.  You don’t have to worry about your sins because Jesus erases them.  Of course, that’s assuming that you truly believe this.  If your belief is based on a selfish desire only to eliminate guilt from the sins that you never really stopped committing, then there may be a surprise waiting for you.

But what actions and inactions deserve to be called sins?  Could that vary from individual to individual?  A hardened criminal may not feel guilty about killing a dog, but I would feel that I committed a sin if I even hurt a dog.  Is it a sin if you think you committed a sin, but you actually didn’t?  If a man paid an assassin $200,000 to kill his neighbor; but instead, the criminal gave the neighbor $100,000 to flee to Mexico, would this be considered a sin?

Well, I guess it depends on what you take into the afterlife.  It is possible that you may feel guilty about things that never really happened and you only thought that they happened.  That would still be a sin in your mind.  And it is possible that hardened criminals will not feel guilty about some actions that you would feel guilty about, but those hardened criminals are going to have plenty of other things to hang on their guilty tree.  It is a mistake to compare your feelings of guilt with those of others.  The feelings of guilt in the afterlife are very personal.

The bottom line is what feelings of guilt do you take into the afterlife?  Those are your sins.  If you truly believe in Jesus, then He will remove these burdens, which will lighten your journey.  This is not to say that your trip through the afterlife will be easy.  Your belief in Jesus will only make it easier.  None of us knows what lies ahead, but we can expect that consequences await us for all the poor choices we made during life.

It is critical to have a tour guide and Jesus can be that guide.  We like to think that we can handle everything on our own, but that is certainly not true in what may be the chaotic, dark unknowns of the underworld.  You must truly believe in Jesus and allow Him to be inside you and become a part of you and your every thought.  However, if you are not thinking after death, then believing in Jesus and God only did two things: (1) it made it easier for you to accept mortality and (2) hopefully made you sin less often.  But if you are thinking after death…

Federal Executives Under Fire Should Be Fired

The “Federal Times” in a front page article on December 1, 2014, written by Andy Medici, indicated that the Senior Executive Service (SES) needed a major overhaul in the wake of recent scandals and criticism from lawmakers.

Former SES employees stated that things could be improved by increasing pay and incentives, by emphasizing positive achievements of SES’s rather than negative actions, and by encouraging movement between agencies.

Are you kidding me?  How will the SES’s be held accountable for mismanagement by giving them more money, bragging on them, and shuffling them around between agencies?  Well, just consider the source.

I was a fraud attorney for the Air Force, Navy, and Marines.  I proposed criminal prosecution against SES members who broke the laws.  None of them were ever prosecuted.  I worked for over four decades in the military and only rarely were there consequences for SES’s when they violated laws.  And there were few consequences for incompetent and inept SES’s.

My opinion for over four decades remains the same.  They need to be prosecuted for unlawful activities and fired for incompetence.  The average salary for these overpaid managers is about $166,000.  In 2016, over half of these SES’s will be eligible to retire.  This would be a good time to recruit competent supervisors from the private sector.  The system of promoting home grown federal employees into management positions has only advanced the best “suck up’s” and career advocates in the system, who were not competent enough to enter private practice.  Over the years, the federal government loses its best employees because they can make more money on the outside and they get tired of working for incompetent management.

There are outstanding retired supervisors from the private sector, who would jump at the chance to help improve the federal government.  Simply downsize the pool of SES employees through attrition.  Don’t hire replacements for those who retire.  The federal government will be better without them in the work force.  Then take that money and hire former managers from companies to run quality control surveys throughout the federal government.  These managers must have power to fire the remaining SES’s and any federal employees.  They should also be empowered to make changes that will improve our government.  They must be given the ability to recommend prosecution and terminations for cause.

Federal executives who are under fire for incompetence should be terminated.

Ganging Up On Others

There have been gangs since early man.  There is strength in numbers, so if early hominids wanted to bring down large game, they had to form a hunting team.  Because of man’s human nature, these early teams more than likely became gangs, which are defined to be a group of people working together, sometimes for selfish needs or control.

Prehistoric man, recognizing the power wielded with these associations, formed not only hunting parties but also war parties that would joust with other groups for prized hunting grounds.  Weapons used by gangs may have evolved over the centuries, but the basic elements for gangs have remained the same.

Gangs typically were formed based on long-time associations in specific geographic areas.  In early days, gangs were created among workmen in shops in the United Kingdom.  However, gangs quickly evolved into power hungry associations, which carried a negative connotation.  For example, an Irish community called Hell’s Kitchen in New York was a springboard for many Irish gangs, including the vicious Gopher Gang.  Many gang members grew up and formed close friendships and loyalty over the years.  They were fighting for their “turf.”  The New York gangs were very active, leading up to mass killings in gang wars of the 1860’s.

Gangs seem to be more prominent in larger cities, but with drugs penetrating smaller communities and rural areas, gangs have spread throughout the United States like cancer.  The early gangs, primarily in New York and Chicago, competed for control of illegal drinking during prohibition.  The gangs became more sophisticated as they became the mafia and other business-like associations.  One of the famous lines became, “It’s not personal.  It’s business.”

But today, youngsters are enticed into a lucrative drug business run by gangs.  Gangs are so widespread that they have captured a large segment of American society either as gangsters or drug users or other victims.  Gangs are so pervasive with international connections, including the Mexican and South American cartels and the Russian mafia, that it is impossible to conduct business as usual in the United States.

The prognosis for America is not good.  Our government, like Boss Tweed in New York, utilizes the gangs for their benefit.  Politicians can gather more votes and obtain more money by working with the gangs.  Are all politicians on the take?  I don’t know, but we know that many are and those who are not can be eliminated easily.  And once politicians take their first taste of graft or payoffs, they are hooked.  If they try to get out of taking additional bribes, they will be turned in for the original crime.

The gangs are becoming so powerful that they will be the source of all future government and leadership.  If you go against them, the gangs will kill you and your family.  They will gang up on you, and you will have nowhere to go.  This environment is fertile grounds for a totalitarian government.

 

Morality vs. Societal Values in the 21st Century

Introduction

Morality is no different in the 21st century than it was in any of the centuries past.  Morality has always been based on the right thing to do.  The right thing to do has remained the same over the millennia.  It is embedded in our conscience.

However, societal values and laws relating to ethics interpreting the right thing to do are different today than they were centuries ago because these moral guidelines fluctuate with the government, ruling class, free time, and the education of the citizenry.

Let’s start with determining what “the right thing to do” is.  Whenever you feel that hiccup before you take an action or whenever you feel a tinge of guilt while taking an action, you know this is not the right thing to do.  Remember Jiminy Cricket in the Walt Disney movie, Pinocchio, and how he and Pinocchio were instructed to always let their conscience be their guide?  Even when we know the right thing to do, we can rationalize or talk ourselves out of doing the right thing with little difficulty.

But society interprets “the right thing to do” through laws and ethical codes.  So how does society determine what the right thing is?  I believe that a fair and just society can use either one or both basic methods for making this decision.  The first is what individuals think, and the second is what others think.  Ideally, the law should coincide with one or both of these ethical perspectives, but that is not always the case.[1]  Many governments, including totalitarianism, impose arbitrary and capricious laws and codes on citizens.

Subjective ethics are relative to the individual.  This theory is common in America, a country of immigrants from a variety of cultures with differing ethical values; however this subjective theory has inherent weaknesses because of our humanness.[2]  Objective ethics, also called rational ethics or moral absolutism, deems actions right or wrong based on a consistent objective test.  It imposes a duty on all citizens to refrain from violating the rights of others.[3]  Sometimes, it is the better approach.

The closest objective test in law I could find was included within the elements of negligence.  A legal duty must first exist between the parties to establish liability through negligence.  As mentioned above, the duty in objective ethics is to refrain from violating the rights of others.  The next element is a breach of that duty.  This requires the actor to meet the standard of care, which in many cases is what a reasonable person would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances.[4]  In other words, would a reasonable person believe this was the right thing to do?

For example, you are shopping at Kroger’s and you haven’t eaten for five hours, so you are tempted to take a grape and pop it in your mouth.  Nobody would miss one grape.  What is the right thing to do according to 21st century society?  Well, let’s apply the subjective test.  The majority of people in today’s society would not have a problem with this.  Most would rationalize that nobody would really be hurt by the loss of a one grape.  The store would still sell the bunch of grapes, and the purchaser would never know the difference because each bunch of grapes had a different amount of grapes anyway.

In earlier centuries, stealing a grape would have been different from stealing a horse only by the value of the item taken.  But clearly, the moral and right thing to do would be to not take the grape no matter what century you lived in at the time of the decision.

What happens when we utilize the objective test in the 21st century?  Let’s employ the quantum of proof required for negligence just like we learned in law school.  In a civil case, the burden of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence also known as “more likely than not” and “greater weight of evidence.”[5]  A case under the Civil False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 2729, somewhat analogous to our determination whether an act is the wrong thing to do, also uses this burden of persuasion.[6]

Let’s first examine the preponderance of the evidence test.  If the scales are just a little lower with the weight of evidence on the side of this being the right thing to do, then it is the right thing to do.  We would have to examine all the evidence and place it on the scales of justice to see where the scales tip.

In this case, we have evidence indicating that taking the grape would be good for the decision-maker because it would stem the hunger until the groceries paid for get home.  We also have evidence that there will be little to no harm to Kroger’s or the ultimate purchaser of the grapes.  The theft of a grape would not be worth prosecuting since the value is so low.  Where do the scales tip in this instance?  A reasonable person would not consider the taking of a grape as the wrong thing to do or, in other words, the decision to take the grape was the right thing to do after examining all the circumstances.

In certain situations, you may find that the scales seem fairly balanced.  That is when we examine the “seven steps.”  These seven steps should be taken to determine if any of them tip the scales.

The magnificent seven are:

  1. Examine your “gut” feeling.  The NCIS “Gibb’s gut” is used.  If your “gut” tells you that the action is not right, then more than likely it is wrong.  This “gut” feeling could tip the scales for you on the side of deciding not to take that action.
  2. Take the “CNN test.”  You can substitute any newspaper or television news report for CNN, but you need to determine if the action could create “bad press.”  If you fear the action could lead to a problem with the media, you should, at least, run it by your public affairs experts.
  3. Examine the pragmatic angles.  If the action is not practical, then why gamble with it?
  4. Res ipsa loquitur – “the thing speaks for itself.”  This is an evidentiary rule that permits some degree of evidence from an inference of a breach by the outcome.
  5. Burden of persuasion is on proving that it is the right thing to do.  A tie goes to proving that it is the wrong thing to do.
  6. Err on the side of avoiding gray areas in the law.
  7. Avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

In this case with the single grape, how would the application of the seven steps work out?  Examine the seven potential tipping points.

  1. Your “gut” may be telling you that there are no real consequences to third parties.
  2. There will be no “bad press” because there is no potential for this being a violation of criminal law.
  3. Practical value of eating this grape to satisfy hunger is greater than problems encountered even if caught.
  4. A single grape makes little noise for itself.  It carries little significance in the scheme of things.
  5. The preponderance of evidence is that a reasonable person would do this and consider this the right thing to do.
  6. There is no legalistic gray area.
  7. If this appears to be a problem, then it is a problem.  This is where the 21st century ethics will not find this as even appearing to be a problem, while earlier centuries would find that the theft of anything would create the appearance of a problem.

And here is the tough part.  Even if the scales are level, the burden of proof has not been met, and you cannot take or recommend taking that action.  In other words, you cannot say that it was a “tie,” allowing you do nothing.  It doesn’t work that way.  Even if the scales are barely tipped to the side of not taking the action based on your “gut” feeling, the decision has been made, and you must argue to not take that action.

Who Makes the Final Ethics Decision?

Is there a judge or jury to decide the case for you?  Or is the decision entirely up to you?  Wouldn’t that be great if you could decide what the wrong thing was?  You could rig it so that you could never do the wrong thing.  All your choices would be spot on, dead center, right on target.  But if you “ain’t the king,” you are going to be second guessed by everybody.  Do I really mean everybody? Yes, I do, including: your supervisor, your co-workers, your secretary, your friends, your parents, your wife, your kids, and even your dog on bad days.

If your supervisor came into your office and asked you to change your opinion because it went against what the company wanted to do, how would you handle it?  Would you comply or would you refuse to change your opinion?  Would you apply the subjective test and rationalize that it wasn’t that big a deal to cave in to the boss?  Live to fight another day.  Or would you examine the situation using the objective test and present a logical argument to take to higher officials within the company, including checking with Public Affairs on their take on the issue?

When I was teaching the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) as an Air Force JAG to combat pilots, I always asked them to make their decisions after employing the “CNN Test.”  You can insert any news media in place of CNN, but CNN was big back during Desert Storm.

What did I mean by the “CNN Test”?  Any choices by pilots to fire or not to fire would be examined under the scrutiny of world opinion or the “CNN Test.”  What would the world think about this decision?  How would it appear in the newspapers tomorrow?  There was always the thought that in war, “you gotta do what you gotta do.”  We wanted the pilots to return safely from every mission, so if somebody were attempting to obtain a firing solution on them, they needed to fire immediately.  But if they had time to think through situations like in selecting targets, they should think about the consequences of world opinion.

Now, why should we care about what other people thought?  We are number one aren’t we?  We are more important than other people.  Who cares about other people’s opinion?  Well, we should care because society benefits from people doing the right thing.  We should place a high priority on doing the right thing and following laws.

 21st Century Decision Making

An eighty-year-old grandfather told his grandson that there was a battle going on between two wolves inside us all.  One was an evil wolf, filled with anger, jealousy, hate, greed, resentment, lies, and a huge ego.  The other was a good wolf with joy, love, peace, kindness, humility, truth, and empathy.

The grandson asked which wolf would finally win.  The old man leaned back and smiled, “The one you feed.”

I present 21 questions for the current century.[1]  I will first give the societal value answers of this century and then I will provide what I believe the moral answers should be.

  1. Why be good?
    21st century: There is no good reason to be the good wolf, so do what you want.
    Morality: Your conscience is a moderate, moral compass, telling you to be good.
  2. Is it ever permissible to lie?
    21st century: Yes, lying is permissible in many cases.
    Morality:  Your conscience permits lying only in moderate amounts, when it is beneficial to the listener.
  3. What’s wrong with gossip?
    21st century: Nothing.
    Morality: Your conscience tells you it is wrong when it is not done in moderation and harms others.
  4. Do you have an obligation to be healthy?
    21st century: No, you can do what you want.
    Morality: Yes, your conscience lets you know that you should live a temperate life and remain healthy so you are not a burden on others.
  5. May I take a grape while shopping?
    21st century:  Yes, because it doesn’t hurt anybody.
    Morality: No since quantity is not the issue in morality; moderation does not permit murdering of an infant because of their size; theft is theft and murder is murder.
  6. Is it wrong to make as much money as I can?
    21st century:  No, although this is changing as capitalism loses out to socialism in this century.
    Morality: you should live modestly and make as much money as you need to survive, avoiding greed.
  7. What are my obligations to the poor?
    21st century: None, although this is changing as capitalism loses out to socialism in this century.
    Morality: You should take care of the poor by teaching them to fish rather than giving them fish.
  8. Can we do better than the Golden Rule?
    21st century: Do unto others before they do unto you.
    Morality: Do more for others than you would do for yourself.
  9. Why can’t I just live for pleasure?
    21st century: You can.
    Morality: Your living for pleasure must be moderated by your conscience.
  10. Why can’t I date a married person?
    21st century: You can as long as the relationship is consensual.
    Morality: Because adultery runs afoul of your conscience and is not temperate sex.
  11. Are jealousy and resentment always wrong?
    21st century: No, these are human emotions that should be accepted.
    Morality: They are wrong when they are not controlled and you keep feeding them.
  12. What are the rules for respecting privacy?
    21st century: You have little privacy under capitalism and no privacy under totalitarian rule (socialism generally degrades into totalitarianism); both extremes in government take away your privacy.
    Morality: The Golden Rule applies to rules of privacy.
  13. What do I owe my aging parents?
    21st century: Nothing.
    Morality:  Your conscience will guide you to providing what your parents reasonably need.
  14. Should I help a suffering loved one die?
    21st century: Yes, if it means one less person on social security and an early inheritance.
    Morality: No, find a way to relieve their suffering other than killing them; murder is murder.
  15. Is “genetic enhancement” playing God.
    21st century: There is no God.
    Morality:  No, it is playing Hitler; genetic enhancement is a dangerous tool that extremists could misuse.
  16. Is conscientious objection a moral right?
    21st century: Yes, anybody can claim this right.
    Morality: It is a reasonable right based on our freedom of religion and convictions, but this right cannot be claimed for spurious and disingenuous reasons; conscientious objection must be done in moderation, following the conscience.
  17. Is it always wrong to fight back?
    21st century: You have the right to fight back as long as you aren’t going against the government.
    Morality: No, you can even go against the existing government if it is a bad government that does not support the citizens of that country; non-violent revolution is permissible.
  18. Should the death penalty be abolished?
    21st century: It should be permitted, especially for revolutionaries and crimes against the state.
    Morality: Yes, it is murder and thus is not permitted by our conscience.
  19. Is torture ever acceptable?
    21st century: Yes, it allows the government to obtain important information.
    Morality: No, it goes against the very fiber of our morality.
  20. Do animals have rights?
    21st century: No, humans are more important than animals.
    Morality: Yes, humans are animals, and your conscience tells you that all animals have rights.
  21. Why should I recycle?
    21st century: Because it is what everybody else is doing.
    Morality: Because it is the right thing to do.

 Conclusion

Have you ever looked for a book on moderation?  There aren’t many.  Have you ever wondered why?  My guess is because the extremists are the squeaky wheels who are always getting the grease to get their books published.  Extremists also have better sound bites for television interviews.  Furthermore, extremists make better headlines and will sell more newspapers and books.  Extremists excite you, energize you, and win you over to their powerful magnetic force.

Moderates are boring because all they want to do is stay in the middle of every argument.  They are the weak force.  But have you ever thought about how difficult remaining neutral really is?  When you have two extreme forces tugging at you, it is actually extremely hard not picking a side.  As the magnetic field strengthens, you generally are drawn to either the north or south poles.  No wonder the world is becoming more polarized with moderates becoming an endangered species.

When we make decisions, we are generally influenced by extreme positions.  Our two-party political system is an example of how two opposite sides polarize America.  Moderate parties generally do not win elections.  However, my conclusion is that people should utilize moderation in making choices in life.  The “Golden Mean” of Aristotle, the “Middle Way” of Buddha, and the “Balanced Order” of Confucius are the heart of virtue ethics.

The 21st century societal value answers to the 21 questions were not moderate.  But the morality answers tended to be more balanced.  That is not to say that the morality answers were perfect.  Any human answers are flawed by humanness, which is found in us all.  But moderation is perhaps the best goal that we as humans can utilize to achieve a heightened sens of morality.

Unfortunately, a revolution generally does not lead to the reinstatement of morality.  Typically, it leads to a new government with new laws, which more than likely will be based on something other than morality, subjective ethics, or objective ethics.  The new leadership will have its own self-interests to serve.  Even communistic revolutions, promising power to the people, have ended up with totalitarian governments taking away everything from the people, including their lives.

Perhaps, this is why morality should be the choice of the people rather than societal or governmental values.



[1] Gordon W. Brown, Paul A. Sukys, and Mary Ann Lawlor, Business Law with UCC Applications, 8th Ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1995), 3 and 8-9.

[2] Brown, 4.

[3] Brown, 7.

[4] Richard A. Mann and Barry S. Roberts, Smith and Roberson’s Business Law, 9th Ed. (New York: West Publishing Company, 1994), 175.

[5] Roger C. Park, David P. Leonard, and Steven H. Goldberg, Evidence Law, A Student’s Guide to the Law of Evidence as Applied in American Trials, 2nd Ed. (St. Paul, MN: Thomson West, 2004), 93.

[6] Brian C. Elmer, et al., Fraud in Government Contracts (Washington, D.C.: Federal Publications Inc., 1993), 3-15.

[7] Many of these questions are found in “Moral Decision Making: How to Approach Everyday Ethics” by Clancy Martin, a professor of Philosophy at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.  The answers are my own.

Do Hardened Criminals Really Care?

A lady who was being strangled by an attacker told the criminal to stop choking her or he would kill her.  The man had a crooked smile and answered, “Do you think I really care?”  The police broke into the room and the man released his choke hold.  When asked if the police saved her life, she answered in the affirmative.  She declared, he would have killed me, otherwise. 

Most criminals commit crimes intentionally.  They make decisions to commit crimes no differently than we make decisions in our daily business.  They decide to murder or rape or rob victims.  Even though there are crimes of passion and crimes committed by those with a mental defect, most crimes are based on choices.

So criminals really do care.  It’s just they care about themselves and don’t care about their victims.  They decide to murder somebody because it will lead to something beneficial for them, even if it is just the thrill of the kill.  They want to rape somebody because it provides some type of gratification, usually a feeling of power rather than satisfying sexual needs.  They choose to rob in order to obtain something they can pawn for their drug habit or find some cash to buy something they want. 

For these criminals, it’s all about them.  Unfortunately, our society is becoming more selfish and is becoming a potential breeding ground for criminals.  A self-centered society is typically a lawless society.  These citizens only care about serving themselves and do not care about other people around them. 

Generally, a self-serving society sets the stage for increased criminal activity.  Most societies start with good moral values, but entropy takes over and the social resolve starts to disintegrate usually after many younger generations have pushed for fewer consequences.  As consequences are reduced, this also sets the stage for increased criminal activity. 

The older generations typically are disappointed with the succeeding generations as they liberalize laws, removing their teeth.  Each generation seems to be less focused on doing the right thing for everybody.  The generations have gotten progressively worse. 

Younger generations may say that there should be no penalties for crimes that hurt no one but the offender.  For example, we have seen a more liberalized approach to the use of marijuana based on the idea that users of this drug are not harming anybody else.  Yet, if a driver on marijuana runs over a pedestrian, an argument could be made that third parties may be injured by users of the drug.  And even if a third party is not injured, society could be harmed by misuse of marijuana.   

Today’s generations are so interested in themselves that they aren’t even aware that other people in the world exist.  Their entire lives are based on what they can do for themselves.  They don’t care about their neighbors, their family, their city, their state, or their nation.  All they can see is what is in front of their mirror. 

And unfortunately, they do not have the proper education to develop humility, compassion, or empathy.  They do not study Aristotle, so they have never heard of the “golden mean.”  They do not read about Buddha and do not know about the “Middle Path.”  They have never read about the great philosophers and religious leaders.  They have not studied ethics or moral codes.  Their studies of history are so limited that most high school students do not even know the first five presidents of the United States.  All they learn in school is how to get ahead and get what they want. 

Many turn to drugs to make money.  Very few have charity in their hearts.  If you look into their eyes, you will see self-absorbed “zombies” with no souls.  These modern-day “children of the corn” are no different than hardened murderers who have no remorse.  And if they killed somebody later in life to get something they wanted, their conscience would not be disturbed.  In fact, they would be angry that you would want to deny them what they wanted.  Part of this stems from the bloody video games and movies that are desensitizing young adults. 

They do not want consequences.  Even though choices should always have consequences, they want to eliminate all consequences.  Can you imagine what society would be like if these zombies were turned loose in the world without consequences?  But that’s where we are headed as our social structure continues to erode. 

Criminals are very optimistic.  They believe that they have the right to do anything they want to do and there should be no consequences.  Even when society has laws that punish them, they are optimistic that detectives will not discover that they committed the crimes.  But even if detectives do discover that they committed the crime, prosecutors will not have sufficient evidence to make a case.  Our criminal justice system has been liberalized over the decades, making it difficult to punish criminals. 

Criminals have more reasons to be optimistic.  Even if the prosecution can make a case against them, the criminal will hire a good defense attorney who can get them off.  However if their attorney does not get them off, they are optimistic that their sentence will be light.  Even if they do not get a light sentence, they can still appeal it, get a pardon or paroled, or get a reduced sentence for good behavior.  The prisons are overcrowded, so criminals are optimistic that they will get out early.  The bottom line is that even if they go to jail, they will receive free room and board (three hots & a cot), and will rub elbows with like-minded people who can help them become professional criminals and do a better job next time to avoid getting caught.

Our society is headed rapidly toward entitlements.  American citizens will be entitled to free meals, housing, and medical care until the middle class disappears.  Criminals, gang members, and drug lords will be entitled to do whatever they want with no consequences.  Private gun owners will have to give up their weapons, but not criminals.  Is this our future?

Do hardened criminals really care about your future?  They only care about themselves and their futures.  You, as an honest citizen, mean nothing to them.  They are predators and you represent easy prey.  Removing your guns for personal protection and laws that provide consequences to criminals are exactly what they want.

Is there any way to stop the dismantling of American society?  It has probably gone past the tipping point and cannot be turned around.  The majority of Americans rely on the government to keep them above water.  Without the government, they would sink.

Do the majority of Americans care about their country?  No, they probably don’t care.  As long as they are personally taken care of, that’s all that matters.  They don’t really care whether the American system is failing or not.  And they aren’t intelligent enough to know that after the middle class disappears, the government will stop their entitlements.  

At that point, a totalitarian government will enslave all the citizens, including criminals.  Even the hardened criminals will start to care at that moment because they will be restricted by the totalitarian government.  But it will be too late for everybody, except the ruling elite.  Since you will not have any weapons, if you disagree with the government, those in power will execute you.  Most criminals will really care then.