Category: Culture

Conversations on Money

My younger friend wasn’t ready to hear my advice but it was a good reminder on why I shouldn’t give advice unless asked.  I’ve learned most of what I told him by observing the situation of the older men, deciding I wanted something better, and learning how to acquire assets.  Spiritually, this is something of a dangerous game.  How do you build wealth without ending up in the service of Mammon – the Syrian god of wealth and prosperity?

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Do we even have a nation anymore?

A quick Google search defines a nation as “a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.” Oxford defines a nation as “a country considered as a group of people with the same language, culture and history, who live in a particular area under one government.” Looking at these definitions, the relevant ones at least, you see a common theme related to culture, language and history. These aspects also lend themselves heavily to common descent (race and ethnicity), religious philosophy, a general socially accepted moral code, values, ethics and traditions. After all of that, we can focus lastly on matters of actual borders and whether our government systems serve us all equally, or rather, whether our government rules over us all in roughly the same manner and to roughly the same benefit or detriment.

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America’s Monopoly Crisis Hits the US Military

In some cases, our competitive edge has not just been eroded, but is at risk of being—or already is—surpassed. The Chinese surge in 5G telecom equipment, which has dual civilian and military uses, is one example. China is making key investments in artificial intelligence, another area of competition. They even seem to be able to mount a rail gun on a naval ship, an important next generation weapons technology that the U.S. Navy has yet to incorporate.

And yet, the U.S. military budget, even at stalled levels, is still larger than the next nine countries’ budgets combined. So there’s a second natural follow-up question: is the defense budget the primary reason our military advantage is slipping away, or is it something deeper?

The story of Huawei, and many others, suggests the latter.

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Is the US on the path of Balkanization?

The social observation is that such a mass of diverse peoples must have a voluntary pressure outlet in order to maintain peace. We must accept reality that not all cultures are able to be forced together with peaceful results. Forced proximity, with advantages, disadvantages and blame doled out only to certain peoples, with a lack of opportunity to separate peacefully will always result in strife and eventual violence.

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