When America was great… When was that?

Let’s start with the man that is falsely credited with discovering America. This man, if you can call him that even, has a day that misguided, misinformed, or oblivious people of the US set aside to glorify him. Here is some of the history of this person who was credited for starting things here in the USA.

Columbus wasn’t a hero. When he set foot on that sandy beach in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492, Columbus discovered that the islands were inhabited by friendly, peaceful people called the Lucayans, Taínos and Arawaks. Writing in his diary, Columbus said they were a handsome, smart and kind people. He noted that the gentle Arawaks were remarkable for their hospitality. “They offered to share with anyone and when you ask for something, they never say no,” he said. The Arawaks had no weapons; their society had neither criminals, prisons nor prisoners. They were so kind-hearted that Columbus noted in his diary that on the day the Santa Maria was shipwrecked, the Arawaks labored for hours to save his crew and cargo. The native people were so honest that not one thing was missing. Columbus was so impressed with the hard work of these gentle islanders, that he immediately seized their land for Spain and enslaved them to work in his brutal gold mines. Within only two years, 125,000 (half of the population) of the original natives on the island were dead. If I were a Native American, I would mark October 12, 1492, as a black day on my calendar.

Shockingly, Columbus supervised the selling of native girls into sexual slavery. Young girls of the ages 9 to 10 were the most desired by his men. In 1500, Columbus casually wrote about it in his log. He said: “A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.” He forced these peaceful natives work in his gold mines until they died of exhaustion. If an “Indian” worker did not deliver his full quota of gold dust by Columbus’ deadline, soldiers would cut off the man’s hands and tie them around his neck to send a message. Slavery was so intolerable for these sweet, gentle island people that at one point, 100 of them committed mass suicide.

Catholic law forbade the enslavement of Christians, but Columbus solved this problem. He simply refused to baptize the native people of Hispaniola. On his second trip to the New World, Columbus brought cannons and attack dogs. If a native resisted slavery, he would cut off a nose or an ear. If slaves tried to escape, Columbus had them burned alive. Other times, he sent attack dogs to hunt them down, and the dogs would tear off the arms and legs of the screaming natives while they were still alive. If the Spaniards ran short of meat to feed the dogs, Arawak babies were killed for dog food.

Columbus’ acts of cruelty were so unspeakable and so legendary - even in his own day - that Governor Francisco De Bobadilla arrested Columbus and his two brothers, slapped them into chains, and shipped them off to Spain to answer for their crimes against the Arawaks. But the King and Queen of Spain, their treasury filling up with gold, pardoned Columbus and let him go free. One of Columbus’ men, Bartolome De Las Casas, was so mortified by Columbus’ brutal atrocities against the native peoples, that he quit working for Columbus and became a Catholic priest.

He described how the Spaniards under Columbus’ command cut off the legs of children who ran from them, to test the sharpness of their blades. According to De Las Casas, the men made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half. He says that Columbus’ men poured people full of boiling soap. In a single day, De Las Casas was an eye witness as the Spanish soldiers dismembered, beheaded, or raped 3000 native people. “Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight as no age can parallel,” De Las Casas wrote. “My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that now I tremble as I write.” De Las Casas spent the rest of his life trying to protect the helpless native people. But after a while, there were no more natives to protect.

Experts generally agree that before 1492, the population on the island of Hispaniola probably numbered above 3 million. Within 20 years of Spanish arrival, it was reduced to only 60,000. Within 50 years, not a single original native inhabitant could be found. In 1516, Spanish historian Peter Martyr wrote: “... a ship without compass, chart, or guide, but only following the trail of dead Indians who had been thrown from the ships could find its way from the Bahamas to Hispaniola.” Christopher Columbus derived most of his income from slavery, De Las Casas noted. In fact, Columbus was the first slave trader in the Americas. As the native slaves died off, they were replaced with black slaves. Columbus’ son became the first African slave trader in 1505.

Are you surprised you never learned about any of this in school? I am too. Why do we have this extraordinary gap in our American ethos? Columbus himself kept detailed diaries, as did some of his men including De Las Casas and Michele de Cuneo. (If you don’t believe me, just Google the words Columbus, sex slave, and gold mine.) What about the time of the American Revolution? Was that when America was great?

Was it in the 1700’s when the the country was full of fighting? The founding fathers who stated that all men are equal, were slave owners. They were all represented in a democracy (actually a republic) by voting, unless you were black, a slave, poor, or a woman. Sounds pretty equal to me. HMMM.

Maybe it was the 1800s when the nation was at war with itself in the bloody, so called, civil war. Family members killing family members, religions fighting among themselves with people claiming to be spiritual brothers killing each other. Though stating that they believed God was the most high, they showed they didn’t believe that, by killing their spiritual brothers because a man told them to. (Corrupt order followers) Baptist leaders and others stating that blacks didn’t have souls and weren’t worth being counted as those human equals that the hypocritical founding fathers spoke about.

Maybe it was in the 1830’s when the US Government after breaking treaty after treaty and proving themselves as untrustworthy under Andrew Jackson removed Indian nations from their lands by way of the trail of tears where hundreds died. Maybe when carpet baggers and corrupt share croppers took advantage of US citizens. Maybe when the US factory workers without unions were treated so inhumanely that hundreds died and most owed their souls to the company store. Sounds a bit like that slavery thing that all that killing was about. Just in the North this time.

Well, maybe the early 1900s where the US once again destroyed families through WW1. Entering that war on another lie about the Lusitania. 1914 was touted as the year the world went mad and the US became a big part of that.

Maybe it was World War II when the US president knowing there was a Japanese threat, set up hundreds of young men in Hawaii as sitting ducks and of course many of them lost their lives when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Or maybe it was in 1942 when the US government took away it’s own citizens so called rights and sent 110,000 law biding Japanese Americans into interment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country.

Possibly it was in the 60’s when many American citizens didn’t agree with the war in Vietnam and were imprisoned. And riots broke out in many places across the US in protest. After the war was a proven failure and all the lives were lost and many were left crippled for life and nothing was corrected in that part of the world, the US government said, "OOPS, sorry bout that." It was just another few thousand soldiers that lost their lives for nothing, all because a man told them to go to war.

The above mentioned wars show that US military, Veterans, and active never fought for freedom of the general populace. They fought for the bankers and power brokers. That’s it. Smedly Butler was right. War is a racket.

Results of the Vietnam War, although the Americans left Vietnam in 1973, they continued to support the South Vietnamese army - the ARVN - with financial and military aid. In April 1975 the South Vietnamese regime collapsed and Vietnam was united.

  • The impact on Vietnam
  • Boat on the water
  • The North Vietnamese army - the NVA - massacred thousands of South Vietnamese after the Americans had left. Many people tried to flee South Vietnam (eg the "boat people").
  • The Vietnamese had to fight wars against Cambodia and China before their independence was secured.
  • Vietnam was ruined - its infrastructure was destroyed, thousands of its people had been killed, and its farmland was polluted by American chemical warfare. It remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The impact on 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam.
  • The war had cost so much that President Johnson's Great Society program of social reform had to be cancelled.
  • Loss of confidence: America had failed to "contain" communism. In 1973, Nixon announced that America was abandoning the Truman Doctrine - The domino theory was proved to be wrong. The fall of South Vietnam to communism was not immediately followed by a similar effect in other countries.
  • News of atrocities, such as the killings at My Lai, lost the US its claim to moral superiority, and its status as the world's defender of freedom and right.
  • 700,000 Vietnam veterans suffered psychological after-effects.

Other wars

More than half of the 2.6 million Americans dispatched to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with physical or mental health problems stemming from their service, feel disconnected from civilian life and believe the government is failing to meet the needs of this generation’s veterans, according to a poll conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The long conflicts, which have required many troops to deploy multiple times and operate under an almost constant threat of attack, have exacted a far more widespread emotional toll than previously recognized by most government studies and independent assessments: One in two say they know a fellow service member who has attempted or committed suicide, and more than 1 million suffer from relationship problems and experience outbursts of anger — two key indicators of post-traumatic stress.

AFTER THE WARS: This story is the first in a multi-part series examining the effects of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars on the 2.6 million American troops who served and fought.

The veterans are often frustrated with the services provided to them by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Pentagon and other government agencies. Almost 60 percent say the VA is doing an “only fair” or “poor” job in addressing the problems faced by veterans, and half say the military is lagging in its efforts to help them transition to civilian life, which has been difficult for 50 percent of those who have left active service. Overall, nearly 1.5 million of those who served in the wars believe the needs of their fellow vets are not being met by the government. “When I raised my right hand and said, ‘I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America,’ when I gave them everything I could, I expect the same in return,” said Christopher Steavens, a former Army staff sergeant who was among 819 vets polled. He served in Iraq in 2003 and in Kuwait two years ago, where he was injured in a construction accident. Upon leaving the Army last summer, he filed a claim with the VA, seeking medical care and financial compensation. He has not yet received a response. “It’s ridiculous that I’ve been waiting seven months just to be examined by a doctor — absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

Ten years ago this Tuesday, the U.S. invaded Iraq, and by any count — and there have been many — the toll has been devastating. So far, about 4,400 U.S. troops and more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, and the combined costs of the war come to an astounding $2 trillion, including future commitments like veteran care.

So where do we stand today? Stephen Hadley was the national security adviser under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009, and part of the White House team that helped sell the war to the public. (Young men from the US have been brainwashed to think they are doing something great by blindly following another mans orders to fight and kill without calling on their own thinking abilities and looking at previous results from wars around the world. Makes the conscientious objector look much smarter than previously viewed.)

The cost of getting [Iraq] back under control ... was too high in terms of dollars, in terms of lives of Americans [and] in terms of lives of Iraqis. Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser. I thought the Iraq war was over. Why is there still fighting? Well, actually last year was the deadliest since 2008. The number of dead reached its worst levels since the height of the Iraq war, when sectarian fighting between the country's Shiite majority and its Sunni minority pushed it to the brink of civil war. Those tensions continue to be fueled by widespread discontent among the Sunnis, who say they are marginalized by the Shiite-led government and unfairly targeted by heavy-handed security tactics.

And today? UPDATE, Monday, June 16, 6:56 p.m EDT: President Obama sent a letter to Congress late Monday informing the body that, under the War Powers Resolution, he would be sending up to 275 US troops to Iraq to protect the US embassy in Baghdad. In a statement to the press, the White House said that the Iraqi government had consented to the troop deployment. "This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting US citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat," Obama's letter says. "This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed.

Maybe it’s actually in the time we live in where the US is involved in wars and skirmishes around the world that cost many lives and billions of tax payer dollars the US doesn’t have. At a time when most of the citizens of the US don’t agree with the policies of the president that they elected. Many Politicians have been proven corrupt with a cost many US lives and sent the US people into debt they will never get out of.

In short, I can’t seem to find an era when America was or is so great. Freedom and the so called American dream can also be had in many countries besides the US. But if you are looking for excessive spending on military and space probing or incarceration records, the US is your country.

Here are a few more stats:

Hard To Believe Facts About 'Wealthy America' And 'Poor America' delivering a series of ringing slaps to make the reality sink in:

  1. The lowest earning 23,303,064 Americans combined make 36 percent less than the highest earning 2,915 Americans do.
  2. 40 percent of all American workers (39.6 percent to be precise) make less than $20,000 a year.
  3. According to the Pew Research Center, the top 7 percent of all U.S. households own 63 percent of all the wealth in the country.
  4. On average, households in the top 7 percent have 24 times as much wealth as households in the bottom 93 percent.
  5. According to numbers that were just released this week, 49.7 million Americans are living in poverty. That is a brand new all-time record high.
  6. In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.
  7. Household incomes have actually been declining for five years in a row and total consumer credit has risen by a whopping 22 percent over the past three years.

Other facts about the US:

  1. A new report reveals that the United States has the highest first-day infant death rate out of all the industrialized countries in the world. About 11,300 newborns die within 24 hours of their birth in the U.S. each year, 50 percent more first-day deaths than all other industrialized countries combined, the report's authors stated.
  2. New survey ranks U.S. students 36th in the world
  3. The U.S. ranks 44th in health care efficiency
  4. The U.S. ranks 2nd in ignorance, 30 October 2014. According to the research firm IPSOS Mori, the United States ranks second out of fourteen countries in general ignorance about social statistics such as teen pregnancy, unemployment rates, and voting patterns. Italy is the most ignorant of the fourteen countries.
  5. The U.S. ranks 101st in peace 19 June 2014 According to the 2014 Global Peace Index prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the United States has a peace index score of 2.137, which makes the United States rank one hundred and first out of one hundred sixty-two countries ranked in that category. The United States is ranked between Benin and Angola. The most peaceful country in the world is Iceland, with a score of 1.189 6. The U.S. ranks first in incarceration 31 May 2014 According to the Brookings Institution, in 2013 there were 710 Americans imprisoned for every 100,000 residents. This makes the United States rank first out of thirty-four OECD countries ranked in that category. The average incarceration rate among the OECD nations is 115. 7. The U.S. ranks 23rd in gender equality 12 March 2014 According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report for 2013, the United States ranks twenty-third in gender equality out of one hundred thirty six countries ranked in that category. The United States is sandwiched in between Burundi and Australia. The report measures “the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities.” 8. The U.S. ranks 46th in freedom of the press 12 February 2014 top countries with freedom of the press 2016 In 2016, the countries where press was the most free were Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and New Zealand, followed by Costa Rica, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland and Jamaica. Once again US not listed According to Reporters Without Borders, the United States has the forty-sixth freest press in the world (sandwiched between Romania and Haiti), a decline of thirteen spots from 2013. This decline was one of the biggest in the world. 9. The U.S. ranks 26th in child well-being 15 December 2013 According to UNICEF, the United States ranks twenty-sixth out of twenty-nine developed countries in terms of the overall well-being of children. Here is a list of the top ten countries in child well-being: 10. The U.S. ranks 24th in literacy 4 December 2013 According to the Program for International Student Assessment, the average reading literacy score for U.S. fifteen-year old students is 498 (out of 1000 possible points). That is enough to make the United States rank twenty-fourth out of sixty-five educational systems ranked in that category. Shangai, China, ranked first, with a score of 570. 11. The U.S. ranks 19th in perceived honesty 3 December 2013 According to Transparency International, in 2013 the United States has a Corruption Perception Index score of 73 out of possible 100 points, with higher scores indicating greater perceived honesty and lower scores indicating greater perceived corruption. That is enough to make the United States rank nineteenth out of one hundred seventy-seven ranked countries. Denmark and New Zealand are tied for first, with a score of 91. 12. The U.S. ranks 1st in the super rich 3 November 2013 According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, 2013, there are 98,700 “ultra high net worth individuals” in the world, those with a net worth of at least USD 50 million. Forty six percent of those individuals (45,650) live in the United States. That is enough to make the United States rank first in that category. 13. The U.S. ranks 17th in happiness 22 October 2013 According to the World Happiness Index, 2013, the United States has a “happiness index” score of 7.082, which is enough to make the United States rank seventeenth out of one hundred fifty-six countries ranked in that category. Denmark ranks first, with a happiness index score of 7.693. 14. The U.S. ranks 8th for having a nice old-age 2 October 2013 According to HelpAge International, the United States has a Global Agewatch Index score of 83.8 (out of 100), which makes the United States rank eighth out of ninety-one countries ranked in that category. Sweden ranks first, with a score of 89.9. 15. The U.S. ranks 99th in peacefulness 29 September 2013 According to Visions for Humanity, the United States has a Global Peace Index score of 2.126, which makes the United States rank ninety-ninth out of one hundred sixty-two countries ranked in that category. Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world, with a score of 1.162. 16. The U.S. ranks 24th in freedom from corruption 4 July 2013 According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, the United States has a “freedom from corruption” score of 71, which makes the United States rank twenty-fourth out of one hundred seventy-seven countries ranked in that category. New Zealand ranks first, with a score of 95. 17. The U.S. ranks 9th in retirement security 11 June 2013 According to the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, the United States ranks ninth out of eighteen countries ranked according to financial security in retirement, with a score of 59.0. Denmark ranks first, with a score of 82.9. The top ten countries (and their scores) are: 18. The U.S. ranks 6th in living the good life 28 May 2013 According to the OECD “Better Life Index,” the United States ranks sixth in terms of overall quality of life among thirty-six industrialized democracies. 19. The U.S. ranks 1st in wine consumption 1 May 2013 According to the Wine Institute, 12.54% of the wine consumed in the world in 2010 was consumed in the United States. That is enough to make the United States rank first in that category. Five countries–the United States, France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom–accounted for just under half of all the wine consumed in the world in that year. 20. The U.S. ranks 1st in plastic surgeons 17 April 2013 According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in 2011 there were 5,950 plastic surgeons working in the United States, or 18.7% of all plastic surgeons working in the world. That is enough to make the United States rank first in that category. 21. The U.S. ranks 6th in public expenditures on health care 14 April 2013 According to the United Nations Development Program, in 2010 public spending on health care amounted to 9.5% of GDP. This is enough to make the United States ... [Message clipped] View entire message

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