Content Advisory

Content Advisory: Whereas: this blog occasionally employs "colorful language," may also occasionally contain implicit and explicit references to tobacco, alcohol, and other substances, as well as sexuality, and favors logic over dogma, any or all of which may offend some,
therefore, be it resolved that:
this blog is intended for mature readers. However, this blog is not age-restricted.
My YouTube channel, on the other hand, is rated 18+.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, Khaaaaaaan!!!

On this 25th day of November in the year 1920, Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino (known to the world as Ricardo Montalban) was born in Mexico City.

He went on to attain fame as an actor in movies, television shows, and commercial advertisements, roles far too numerous to list here.

Some of those roles for which is is most well-known are Khan Noonien Singh, first in "Space Seed," a first-season episode of Star Trek (The Original Series, or, as I like to call it, "Trek Classic"), and again in the cinematic film Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan, the mysterious host "Mister Roarke" of Fantasy Island, and the spokesman for the Chrysler Cordoba.

He was also a co-founder, and the first president, of the Nosotros Foundation, which advocates for Latinos and Latinas in the television and cinema industry.

On the 14th of January 2009, Ricardo Montalban passed from this world;  the cause of death was congestive heart failure.  He is remembered fondly by many who knew him and many more who were familiar with his work.

To learn more about this legendary actor, please see the Wikipedia article here, check out this article about him at Memory Alpha, and see a listing of his television and movie roles in this entry at the Internet Movie Database.

No copyright or trademark infringement challenge is intended in the use of the images or video presented here.  I believe they meet the standards of Fair Use as laid out in Title 17, Section 107 of the US Code.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Note about Role Playing in Online Games

In response to those who advocate "playing the villain" in online RPGs (MMO or otherwise):

Sure, it's all fun and games to Role Play a villain, until you realize that such behavior can have real-world consequences such as encouraging groups and individuals who are guilty of outrageous crimes against humanity. I would rather be responsible for encouraging heroism in the cause of liberty and human progress such as demonstrated by this young woman and this young man.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sequel/Update to my earlier post: "LastChaos-USA Publication Rights Transferred from Aeria to Gamigo"

Sequel/Update to my earlier post:  "LastChaos-USA Publication Rights Transferred from Aeria to Gamigo"

Hi, people.

Back in December I posted that with the official news published by Aeria included (by permission) and some waxing nostalgic about my time in LC as player and Game Sage, and ended it with:

Before the transfer had even begun, I set up an account at Gamigo, and I plan to continue to play LC-USA there.  While the game has its bugs and glitches, and could use some improvement in various particulars, it remains very captivating to me, and it has been a major part of my life for over five years.  I have made some good friends through the game, and through Aeria -- players, Game Sages, Forum Moderators, and Staff members.

 I have maintained some professional silence since then, although I believe the LC community at Gamigo knows that I soon changed my mind, and I believe that they know why.  I did discuss it with a few former colleagues who had also been Volunteers or Staff (or both) involved with LC at Aeria.  I did not speak in confidence, although these were private conversations between people who were simultaneously friends and colleagues.  I have continued, however, to be a Game Sage for DKO at Aeria, although that currently means that I do very little in the role due to the continuing status of the game in hiatus, and am not active on the fora or in the ShoutBox as I was when the game was up and running.  I do look in from time to time, to try to keep the fora and SB clean to the best of my ability, to see if there has been any progress, to look and see if my presence is needed.  More recently, however, Aeria sold its European holdings to a German company, and among those holdings were the English-language publishing rights to DKO.  The transition is still going on in some respects, and I have had no news from the Staff as to the status of the game or any progress.

I have spent most of my time online in recent months playing Star Trek Online through PWE.

As for LC and my decision not to play as I had intended, I need say very little.  A patch came which limited stacks to a total of 999 items.  In the same patch, additional inventory space, so long needed and requested, was finally added, for a price.  Some people lost items which were not supposed to be affected in this way.  A policy to disallow afk pet-leveling and afk affinity farming by use of the P2 Pet AI was declared.

Games should be fun.

LC stopped being fun.

Some who continue to be involved in the LC community I miss, but I cannot in good conscience partake in the game lest it give the impression of condoning things such as what I have related.  To those friends, I will say that you know how you may reach me, and I wish you the best.

I continue to be a GS for DKO.

I continue to play STO.

And then there's this blog and my Google Plus.

Give me a shout once in a while, huh?  :)

American Rushes to Sudan to Save Pregnant Wife From Hanging

Pregnant Woman to Get 100 Lashes, Then Hanged for Marrying a Christian

I long for the day upon which all people realize that enforced conformity is an intrinsic impossibility and that diversity is among other things also a sign of a healthy society.  Religion cannot be forced, or it is false, feigned, a failure.  Currently it is "the Silly Season" in the United States, with politicians opportunistically blathering their rhetoric and slogans as they pander to the sentiments and prejudices of the public.  Among things being said often are words like "values" and "common sense" and "Christian faith."  These are pimps who would prostitute the people to the highest bidder in pursuit of personal benefit.  Self-proclaimed guardians of morality have a long history of being hypocrites.  Religion cannot be legislated.  Those who attempt to do so are inwardly insecure in their own religion, and feel threatened by dissent and diversity, afraid that their views are false and that they have given up opportunities in an effort to be faithful to what they believe their religion teaches for nothing but a lie.  Here's a thought:  if you're so afraid your religion is false, then it might be more Just to allow others to reject that religion.  Morality is neither patented to nor dependent on any particular religion or religion in general.  I sincerely believe that Gene Roddenberry was a visionary artist and prophet.  Among the things he said is this pearl:

“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear.”

To this I respond:


In Koine Greek, this means "May it become."

#Religion #Theocracy #Intolerance

Friday, April 25, 2014

Star Trek Online, Season 9: A New Accord ((***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!***))

Star Trek Online,
Season 9:  "A New Accord"

The year in Terrhain reckoning is 2410.  A recounting of recent history is in order to ensure understanding.  In early 2409, peaceful colonies of the Romulan Star Empire were attacked by the Tal'Shiar and the Elachi.  Refugees of these attacks mostly joined with what was then named "the Romulan Republic," a faction vying for power in the wake of the destruction of Romulus and Remus in 2387, made up of a number of personnel from the Romulan Star Navy who had become stridently opposed to the overweening authority of the Tal'Shiar and the abuse thereof by Tal'Shiar agents.  They elected one of their own as their leader, a Romulan by the name of D'Tan, who had studied the teachings of the Vulcan philosopher Surak and joined the Reunificationist movement as a youth, under the leadership of Ambassador Spock of Vulcan.  Spock gave his life to save other worlds from the fate of Romulus and Remus, destroyed by the subspace spread of energy from the Hobus supernova -- a supernova caused, it was learned later in 2409, by the Tal'Shiar.  While still a Reunificationist, D'Tan did not push his personal views on others in the movement.  At the beginning of 2409, "the Romulan Republic" was merely a schismatic faction of Rihannsu, without any real territory to claim as their own.

In early 2409, the Romulan agricultural colony on the planet Virinat was involved in life as usual.  The Virinat variety of Romulan Ale had been brewed and had fermented in the casks long enough;  it was time for the Festival of the Tapping, when the Virinat Romulan Ale casks would be tapped and the colonists would spend the evening in revelry.  The Virinat style of making Romulan Ale had led to a popular variety throughout the Romulan Star Empire;  the colonists harvested nectar produced by Khellidir, insects native to the planet Virinat, and added it to the mix when the brewing process was completed, after which the ale would be poured into wooden casks at the time of the fulness of the Virinat moon and then left to ferment for five cycles of the Virinat moon.  Then the casks would be tapped, and a festival would ensue before the work of distributing the product to buyers throughout and beyond the Romulan Star Empire.  In the afternoon before the first Festival of the Tapping of 2409, colonists noticed that the normally peaceful Khellidir were strangely aggressive.  Investigation led to the discovery of machinery bearing a resemblance to Borg technology, but somehow different.  One of the elders of the colony suggested a connection to a race called "Elachi," who live in subspace.  The machinery having been disabled, however, and the Khellidir back to their typical behavior, further investigation was to be put off until after the festival.  As Malem, the Maiori of the Virinat colony, had just finished his oration at the opening ceremony and the fireworks were beginning to flash in the night sky, the colony was rocked by an explosion, and then another, and another ...

Virinat was under attack.  Colonists were abducted or killed.  A fortunate few managed to escape the planet's surface in shuttles, only to be confronted by Tal'Shiar drone ships and Tal'Shiar light warbirds.  Some colonists managed to get to older light warbirds in the system, relics of past service by the Maiori and other elders of the colony.  These colonists would fight off the Tal'Shiar drone ships and light warbirds, and even a more powerful Tal'Shiar vessel commanded by Colonel Hakeev, the Chief of the Tal'Shiar, the latter with assistance from warbirds of "the Romulan Republic" which warped in at a critical moment.  An Elachi vessel was also destroyed by the Colonists and the warbirds of The Romulan Republic.  Many of the Colonists chose to throw in their lot with the schismatic faction at this point.  Not long afterward, the unwarranted aggression was repeated in another place;  the peaceful Reman mining colony on Crateris was also attacked by Elachi and Tal'Shiar forces.  Fortunately for the Remans of Crateris, however, they had vessels in orbit, and some vessels from the Romulan Republic were also present to lend support, including ships commanded by refugees from Virinat.  A few months later, the Reman Resistance, under Obisek, allied themselves with the Romulan Republic.

Investigations conducted by the Romulan Republic's Militia Intelligence revealed the depths of Tal'Shiar crime and corruption;  a repetition of the offenses would be extensive, and is not necessary in this place, having been recounted elsewhere already, but among them is a practice of indoctrination and brainwashing using various chemical, physical, psychological, audio-visual, and other techniques.  The sycophancy, passive-aggressive tendencies, cruelty, capriciousness, and incompetence which result from successful indoctrination is very similar to symptoms of Damaged Personality Disorder, with an unhealthy dose of Paranoia tossed in.  Deprogramming efforts to liberate the psyches of subjects have not always been entirely successful.

In the first half of 2409, an expedition of vessels from the Romulan Republic rediscovered Dewa-III, a planet to which their ancestors had come after The Sundering and which they had settled before settling on the Two Planets in the Eisn System which became ch'Rihan and ch'Havran.  Important and symbolically potent artifacts from the first settlement by the ancestors were discovered and a new conference was called at Khitomer, where, after attempts to sabotage the proceedings were made by the Tal'Shiar and foiled by elements of the Romulan Republic's Star Navy and the Klingon Defense Force, the Romulan Republic was formally recognized by both the Klingon Empire (and thus the Orion Syndicate, which now secretly runs the Klingon Empire) and the United Federation of Planets.  Territory, including the Dewa System, was recognized as held by the Romulan Republic.  The planet Dewa-III was renamed ch'Mol'Rihan, or "New Romulus," and a Capitol City was constructed on the planet with assistance from the Federation and the Klingon Empire.  Although the Federation and the Klingons were still officially at war, the situation had come to the point of being primarily a cold war, with occasional minor territorial skirmishes, raids, and the like.  The two powers, and what was now "the New Romulan Republic," were faced with far more dangerous enemies, including the Tal'Shiar-Elachi alliance, the Hirogen, the Tholians, the Borg, the Breen, the True Way terrorists, the Undine, and the silent puppetmasters sitting concealed in subspace:  the Iconians.

With the discovery of a functional Iconian Gateway beneath the surface of ch'Mol'Rihan, a new season came.  The New Romulan Republic chose to power up the Gate and open it.  Representatives of both the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets were present for the event, which was almost a catastrophe, but that potential was averted.  In the process, several persons from the three powers had to escape through the active Gateway.  They found themselves inside a Dyson Sphere.  A solanagen-based lifeform was present in the Sphere, as were Voth, a reptilian race which had originated on Terrha and was bent on exterminating anyone who challenged their fundamentalist pseudoscience.  The Solanae Dyson Sphere, as it came to be called, was capable of amazing things.  Among the discoveries was the fact that connecting to the Jenolan Dyson Sphere was possible.  Unfortunately, the Undine invaded the Jenolan Dyson Sphere and began plans to launch an attack on the powers of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.  The three major powers of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, namely, the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire (Orion Syndicate), and the New Romulan Republic, banded together to fight off these attacks, but Earth Spacedock and the Qo'noS Orbital Shipyard were destroyed.  A number of Undine who had infiltrated the Federation were revealed and died trying to kill citizens of the three major powers.  An Iconian appeared with a warning.

Following these events, the Klingon Empire (Orion Syndicate) and the United Federation of Planets agreed to call an end to their hostilities.  The Federation-Klingon War was over.  The threats to the peace of the three powers, and indeed the plenitude of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, from the Tholians, the Tal'Shiar-Elachi Alliance, the Hirogen, the Borg, the Voth, and the Undine continue.  The Tal'Diann stands ready and vigilant to these and any other threats to the security and freedom of the citizens of the New Romulan Republic.

Join us and fight for the New Romulan Republic.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fads in Mental Diagnoses Revisited

In an earlier post, I made some observations about what I called "fads in mental diagnoses," and the epidemic of over-diagnoses of certain conditions.  New evidence has now been published, which may put this phenomenon in a new light.

From Salon:

There has been a lot of public agonizing lately about the steep rise in diagnoses of ADHD over the last two decades. There is growing, and justifiable, worry that a lot of kids are being put on stimulant medications who don’t need them.

What there hasn’t been is a plausible theory about what’s driving this explosion of diagnoses — 40 percent over the last decade and more than 50 percent over 25 years. The CDC now estimates that 12 percent of school age kids, and as many as 20 percent of teenage boys have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Blame has been directed at parents, for being so poor at discipline that they reach for a pill to make unruly kids settle down. Teachers are blamed for being so inept at maintaining order that they want students medicated into submission. Psychiatrists are blamed for being the pawns of drug companies peddling ADHD meds. But blaming doesn’t explain it. ...

Now comes a book that, finally, offers a data-based analysis that could begin to account for an increase on this scale. “The ADHD Explosion,“ by Stephen Hinshaw and Richard Scheffler, considers all kinds of factors that may contribute to the surge, from diagnosis by undertrained and harried pediatricians to pharmaceutical advertising. But the eye-opening insight from Hinshaw, a clinical psychologist, and Schleffler, a health economist, who are colleagues at University of California, Berkeley, is the correlation between educational policies and the prevalence of ADHD diagnoses.

Using Centers for Disease Control surveys, Hinshaw and Sheffler found that when rates of ADHD diagnoses are broken down by state, it turns out that there are dramatic discrepancies. ...

What the team found was that high rates of ADHD diagnoses correlated closely with state laws that penalize schools when students fail. Nationally, this approach to education was enacted into law in 2001 with No Child Left Behind, which makes funding contingent on the number of students who pass standardized tests.

Read more:
The truth about ADHD: Over-diagnosis linked to cause championed by Michelle Rhee

SuccubaSuprema writes:
Many worthy criticisms of "No Child Left Behind" have been provided since 2001, but this newly published data may finally help to successfully euthanize the inane law.  Why would the Federal Government throw more money at schools which need it less in the first place?  It seems counterintuitive.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Where I've Been and What I've Been Doing Lately

A little update

Some of those who read this blog may have noticed that I haven't been very active in posting this month, and may have been wondering where I've been and what I've been doing, and so on.  Fear not, I have not abandoned this blog, and will return to posting here in the future.

However, I've also been working on a website for my fleet in the Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), Star Trek Online (STO).  For those not familiar with the game, a "fleet" in STO is the equivalent of what some MMOs refer to as a "guild" or "clan," that is, a group of players of the game, organized through the game's mechanics, into an association.  Ideally, these groups should function in a tribe-like manner, cooperating for the betterment of the group as a group, and for the members of the group as individuals, with each member contributing to the group itself and helping other members get ahead in the game.

The fleet I started in STO is named "Tal'Diann," which is the name of the Military Intelligence organization in Romulan society.  Some of us are fans of the writings of Diane Duane, and the language which she created for the Romulans in her novels.  As such, use of the doaege Rihan (Romulan language) is welcome and encouraged within the fleet, although not required.  I'm also using the language quite a bit on the fleet website (with translation provided, of course), and have two pages on the site which provide resources for the language.

For those who might find any of this interesting, please feel free to have a look around the site (which is still growing;  my two current projects for the site are a discussion of history and culture pertaining to the Romulan people, and a biography of my main character in STO, G'essatra ir'Virinat t'Prell, the Fleet Admiral of the Tal'Diann -- neither of these writings is currently visible to the public, but they should become visible within a relatively short period of time, once I'm satisfied enough with the presentation).  Here's a link:
Tal'Diann (Phi'Tlaru Rihan)
Llea-u (Enjoy)!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sotomayor Temporarily Blocks Obamacare "Forcing" Some Religious Groups to Provide Birth Control Coverage

From The New York Times:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Obama administration from forcing some religious-affiliated groups to provide health insurance coverage of birth control or face penalties as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Acting at the request of an order of nuns in Colorado, Justice Sotomayor issued the stay just hours before the requirement was to go into effect on New Year’s Day. She gave the Obama administration until Friday to respond to the Supreme Court.

... Religious opponents of abortion have objected especially strongly to the requirement to provide emergency contraception pills, like Plan B, although most studies show that the drug works by preventing fertilization, not by inducing abortion. ...

 The Obama administration has repeatedly defended the birth control requirement. “The president believes that no one, including the government or for-profit corporations, should be able to dictate those decisions to women,” Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said last month.

Read more:
Justice Blocks Contraception Mandate on Insurance in Suit by Nuns

SuccubaSuprema writes:
Jehovah's Witnesses oppose blood transfusions.  Scientologists oppose psychiatric treatment.  Will businesses affiliated with these religious groups also be given exemptions for those specifics?  If an exception is made for religions with a large following like the Roman Catholic Church or the Southern Baptist Convention, but not for religions with a smaller following such as the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Church of Scientology, would that not be a clear case of the government giving preferential treatment to specific religious groups while denying such privileges to other religious groups, and thus a rather blatant violation of not only the letter, but also the spirit, of the First Amendment's non-establishment clause?  Upon what basis is an employer entitled to make health decisions for his/her employees?  If a person believes that abortion or contraception is morally wrong, that person is free to refrain from having an abortion or using contraceptives, but that person has no authority or right to impose such beliefs -- or the practical application of those beliefs -- on anyone else.

More to the point, why does any employer have a right to know the medical history of any employee?  Is it not the usual operating procedure for any insurance provider to accumulate a resource pool from which to cover the medical expenses of any given subscriber, whether or not that subscriber or any other subscriber ever makes use of specific coverage?  And do insurance companies have any requirement to tell every subscriber the medical history of every other subscriber?  Is this not really about the typical capitalist desire to maximize the intake of wealth while decreasing any expenditures, rather than any sort of religious conviction?  If not, then is this not simply a case of religious imperialism?

Monday, December 23, 2013

War on Christmas?

Here's an interesting little piece by Jim Hightower:
Christmas War!

The victim routine they've been trying for a while now is one I've seen the same people play before.  In the 1980s, the Fundamentalist wing of the Southern Baptist Convention kept whining about how their voices were being drowned out by the awful "Liberals" (as if! seeing as how the people they were complaining about were actually Evangelicals, who are, or were at that time, merely Protestants with a conservative theology, and who generally believed rather strongly in the separation of church and state -- as distinct from the crop of Fundamentalists then being farmed by unscrupulous leaders, who, to the contrary, were Protestants with an almost reactionary theology and a desire to impose their religion on the state, and thence onto the rest of the nation), and how they just wanted to be heard, to have an equal voice, and other such innocent-sounding claims.  However, once they had cemented their hold on the machinery of the Southern Baptist Convention, they took off the fleeces they were wearing and revealed themselves to be the wolves they were pretending others were, and then they did precisely those things of which they had been accusing the "Liberals" (again, actually Evangelicals, and not Liberals by any stretch of the imagination).

Do not fall for this victim routine!  The whine is not authentic, but merely an act, intended to mask a scheme to take control of government in an effort to enforce conformity to their narrow worldview.  Here is a good discussion of what's going on with this routine, notwithstanding what some may regard as an unfortunate choice of font:
The Self-Defined "Victim" - Page 1

See also:
Merry Christmas, right-wingers, The Red Pope, and Jesus

Feeding Children from the Tree of Death: Fundamentalism's Abusive Legacy

Monday, December 16, 2013

Fads in Mental Diagnoses

From Mind Hacks:

The New York Times has an important article on how Attention Deficit Disorder, often known as ADHD, has been ‘marketed’ alongside sales of stimulant medication to the point where leading ADHD researchers are becoming alarmed at the scale of diagnosis and drug treatment.

It’s worth noting that although the article focuses on ADHD, it is really a case study in how psychiatric drug marketing often works.

Read more:
A disorder of marketing

SuccubaSuprema writes:

I'm not sure why ADHD researchers are only now becoming alarmed, nor why this trend was not anticipated -- not the trend specific to overdiagnosis of ADHD, but the trend to overdiagnose certain "popular" disorders.  It's hardly a new phenomenon, after all:  "Hyperactivity" was the condition overdiagnosed in the 1970s, while "Manic Depression" or "Manic-Depressive Disorder" was the overdiagnosis of the '80s.  In the '90s, the lingering Manic Depression (by this time renamed to "Bipolar Disorder" for various reasons, not least of which was a need to be more specific and more inclusive at the same time) continued to be overdiagnosed, but a new diagnosis was also on the rise, and "Attention Deficit Disorder" began to be overdiagnosed.  Moving into the first decade of the 21st century, this name expanded to "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder," and had become the dominant overdiagnosis.  In the present decade, it's too early to say for sure, but "Asperger Syndrome" was viewed as pretty sexy at the beginning of the decade, and "Autism Spectrum Disorder" (which is the new label in DSM-5, and which includes what has up till now been called "Asperger Syndrome") seems to be replacing that as a popular diagnosis.

I'm also far from sure that this can be laid at the feet of advertisers.  "Hyperactivity" in the '70s, for example, was treated with a specific diet ("the Feingold diet," which involved omitting artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives, caffeine, and sugar from the child's diet) rather than medication.

What may be most telling is that these diagnoses pertain to behaviors and attitudes often noticed in childhood and/or adolescence.  I would be inclined to refrain from making any explicit explanation of this observation here, due to relatives whose children were diagnosed with one or another of these conditions, but I do think the connection is worth considering.  To be more precise, I would suggest that the ones in need of therapy and/or medication may more often be the parents than the children!

A parent has a "problem child" and takes the child to a mental health professional, where the child is diagnosed with "XXXXX disorder," and then the parent shares this information with another parent, and that parent wonders if his/her child might also have "XXXXX disorder."  The next act in this tragedy is easy enough to predict.

Fads in Mental Diagnoses Revisited

Friday, December 13, 2013

Chris Christie's Vision for the United States?

From Rolling Stone:

... Camden is just across the Delaware River from the brick and polished cobblestone streets of downtown Philadelphia, where oblivious tourists pour in every year, gobbling cheese steaks and gazing at the Liberty Bell, having no idea that they're a short walk over the Ben Franklin Bridge from a full-blown sovereignty crisis – an un-Fantasy Island of extreme poverty and violence where the police just a few years ago essentially surrendered a city of 77,000.

All over America, communities are failing. Once-mighty Rust Belt capitals that made steel or cars are now wastelands. Elsewhere, struggling white rural America is stocking up on canned goods and embracing the politics of chaos, sending pols to Washington ready to hit the default button and start the whole national experiment all over again.

But in Camden, chaos is already here. In September, its last supermarket closed, and the city has been declared a "food desert" by the USDA. The place is literally dying, its population having plummeted from above 120,000 in the Fifties to less than 80,000 today. Thirty percent of the remaining population is under 18, an astonishing number that's 10 to 15 percent higher than any other "very challenged" city, to use the police euphemism. Their home is a city with thousands of abandoned houses but no money to demolish them, leaving whole blocks full of Ninth Ward-style wreckage to gather waste and rats.

It's a major metropolitan area run by armed teenagers with no access to jobs or healthy food, and not long ago, while the rest of America was ranting about debt ceilings and Obamacares, Camden quietly got pushed off the map. That was three years ago, when new governor and presumptive future presidential candidate Chris Christie abruptly cut back on the state subsidies that kept Camden on life support. The move left the city almost completely ungoverned – a graphic preview of what might lie ahead for communities that don't generate enough of their own tax revenue to keep their lights on. Over three years, fires raged, violent crime spiked and the murder rate soared so high that on a per-capita basis, it "put us somewhere between Honduras and Somalia," says Police Chief J. Scott Thomson. ...

Read more:
Apocalypse, New Jersey: A Dispatch From America's Most Desperate Town

See also:
The Bankruptcy and Privatization of Detroit Is a Terrifying Preview of What Republicans Want to Do to the Rest of the Country