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My friend George, in his mid-60’s, was a vice president of an insurance company. He’s told me a few amusing stories of fraud. A man with a claimed bad back was filmed lifting concrete blocks and bowling. A supposedly blind dude was filmed driving a car, steering a Jet Ski and examining jar labels in a store. Dogged detective work landed these cheaters in jail.

A factory was scheduled to die at noon, but word leaked out, so within three hours, more than 300 claims of workplace injuries flooded in. Allied with the union, doctors and chiropractors got most of these workers paid.

I have a friend who made medical casts for a crooked doctor. A family man, Bill is also smart and cultured.

“With the insurance industry so powerful, how come we have so many frivolous lawsuits?” I asked George as we sat in Friendly Lounge.

“Lawyers are more powerful! Trial lawyers spend five times on lobbyists than the insurance industry. Also, our president and vice president are lawyers. Nearly half of our congress are lawyers. We’re ruled by lawyers!”

If there’s a sniff of honey or milk, there’s a shyster. Where there are burning bushes, there are shysters. If there’s an election, there’s a shyst load of shysters.

Don, the Friendly Lounge owner, jumped in, “I know a guy who purposely fell off a ladder. He’s fine, nothing wrong with him, but he’s been paid ever since. I hate people who work the system like that!”

“How old was he when he fell?”

“Around 35, and he’s in his mid-60 now.”

I know a kitchen worker who purposely sliced into her finger, but not too far. It was worth it, she claimed.

Too many of us want something for nothing. Across the street from the bar is a newsstand with lottery tickets. Its owners are a middle-aged couple from India. Don, “The other day, a Mexican guy rode up on a bicycle and bought a thousand dollars’ worth of rub-offs. He rubbed all those tickets and won just $300!”

“That’s pretty funny!”

“Yeah, he lost $700 just like that.”

Standing at the end of the bar, Maria ordered a rum and coke then showed me her betting slips. “I only bet on the horses three times a year. Only the big races, you know. I’m better with the numbers.”

Born in the Dominican Republic, Maria believes in law, order, torture and natural remedies.

“I’d think you’d have a better chance with the horses,” I said. “At least it’s not totally random!”

“Ah, but I have dreams,” Maria winked and smiled. “In my dreams, sometimes I get the right numbers.”

Marco, sitting at the far end watching the Phillies, has been on disabilities ever since he suffered a nervous breakdown decades ago.

Tony, right behind me, is living in his car after losing everything on the horses. Too broke to pay for inspections, Tony risks getting his sad shelter towed. His son is in a Texas prison for drug dealing, and his grandsons are nearby in New Jersey, but Tony’s too ashamed to go see them.

The man who owns the cigarette machine makes his living honestly. Showing up in the afternoon, he often buys a round for the handful of patrons, old farts usually. The man’s uncle, though, was Blinky Palermo, the well-known boxing fixer. Beneath the sheen, there’s the sham, nearly always.

Financially challenged, I’ve only known small-time crooks. Ralph is a professional shoplifter, with a list of regular buyers. Let’s say you need some Zyrtec, the allergy medicine. Seventy tablets will set you back $43 at Walgreens. If you’re making minimum wage, that’s a day’s salary. Order it from Ralph and you’ll only pay five bucks, however, with same day delivery even. What else do you need? Canned tuna? Cheese? I know a guy who would accompany Ralph to a store to indicate the exact item he wants, then go outside and wait for it.

More and more Americans are having a hard time putting food on the table. John, a car mechanic in his 50’s, told me about his granddad, an immigrant from Germany, “He used to kill pigeons with rocks! There were so many back then, they covered the sky. My granddad would go to a park to throw rocks at pigeons. There were so many, he couldn’t miss, so he’d kill a couple for dinner. This was in Camden.”

What would you kill so you and yours could eat? With their economy collapsing, some Venezuelans are hunting dogs and cats, so we’re told. Stores are being looted.

As crooked above, so crooked below, and bad times will certainly multiply crookedness. We’ll see many more liars, thieves and murderers as our economy and political system tank. Many among us will also join their ranks. Surviving outside the law will increasingly be the norm.

Street fighting will also become a more prevalent skill. Already, political violence is erupting. A lot can happen between now and November, and we’re merely spectators to our rulers’ machinations, but Hustling Trump seems a better tool than Crooked Hillary. Our rulers need a polarizing figure so we can tear into each other as they go on with their crimes.

Besides being a boost for gun control, hatred of Muslims and sympathy for gays, the Orlando massacre tale is the deep state giving Trump a push.


They shot up the club, killed a bunch, including the fall guy, then immediately released a story about this crazed, violent Muslim who hated the United States and homosexuals. Omar Mateen was a regular at Club Pulse, however, and he went there to pick up men, according to other regulars. Also recorded are two eye witnesses who say there was a man blocking the door as club patrons tried to escape, so it wasn’t just one shooter acting alone. You don’t need an above-retarded IQ to conclude there were likely several shooters, with Omar Mateen not necessarily one of them. Featured witnesses, those that go on Good Morning America, for example, are plants.

Anyway, Trump is so “outside,” he met with Kissinger recently, and Condi Rice and Newt Gingrich, of all people, are being floated as his vice president. With their ballot machines, our rulers can select anybody they want anyway. In the election farce, American voters are just goofy extras.

A lifelong Republican, George will vote Libertarian this year. Looking angry, Marco wouldn’t tell me who he thinks is this country’s savior. Grinning, John just shrugged.


Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2016 Election, Donald Trump 
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  1. You are a miserable dilettante.

    In one article you groan how America cannot be great again and how it was all inevitable, and in others like this one, you moan about how those very “inevitable” factors are what’s hollowing out America, implying that they need to be rectified.

    You have zero intellectual consistency and instead bounce from one emotional platitude to another.

    There are no a-political “rulers”, no ruling “class”. America has deep historical divisions embedded within its text, it was *intended* to have such divisions. We are witnessing the logical conclusion of the constitution, not some unintended aberration hijacked by shadow “rulers” in the background. Perhaps that is something that you as an east Asian cannot understand yet?

    Those “rulers” like Clinton are not pursuing some self-serving personal enrichment scheme behind their open-borders agenda: those people, Clinton, Obama, Jeb, etc, they actually religiously believe in what they’re saying.

    There is no neat little divide between “the people” and “rulers” here in America, there isn’t even a “people”. Everything has balkanized and that is a natural consequence of Americanism. Get out of the bar, your bar wisdom sounds exactly like drunken drivel.

  2. Nice job, sir!

    Certainly much more accurate commentary than Buchanan’s pathetically brain dead, shamefully knee jerk drivel published on the UR today.

    • Replies: @woodNfish
  3. Reading this post, which is a very perceptive and intelligent one, made me realize that what America perhaps needs most is to somehow introduce Confucianism into the deep ethic of the West. The teachings of Confucius do not, insofar as I know, conflict with other religious traditions. Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism all coexisted more or less amicably (leaving aside the severe persecution of the Buddhists by the Confucian Court in earlier Chinese Buddhist history) for a long while; not having a Deity or deities or a theological point to make, Confucianism seems to have no chink in its armor through which an ill-considered objection could penetrate.

    We may begin, perhaps, with the Rectification of Names. For a society not to fall into deep confusion, it is necessary for the State to call things by their true or correct names, to set a good teaching example for the society as a whole. Case in point: the U.S. Department of Defense. When this Republic was founded, we had a Department of State, A Department of the Treasury, a Department of the Navy, and a Department of War.

  4. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    Is Paul-Craig-Robertitis spreading like a plague?

    I mean come on.

    Omar could have been homo but a homo Muslim may choose Islam over homo-ness.

    And he could have been a self-loathing homo.

    It’s like some white people hate their own whiteness.

    Likewise, some homos hate their own homo-ness.

  5. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    “Featured witnesses, those that go on Good Morning America, for example, are plants.”


    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
    , @Linh Dinh
    , @Truth
  6. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    “Besides being a boost for gun control, hatred of Muslims and sympathy for gays, the Orlando massacre tale is the deep state giving Trump a push.”

    But they can get all this with Hillary.

    She is for gun control. And her foreign policy has spread destruction all over the Middle East. And she is pro-homo.

    And she was leading in polls.

    So, why would the Deep State need to help Trump when Hillary supports the very policies loved by Deep State, more so than Trump does?

  7. @the Southerner

    The fact that you’re right about America being increasingly balkanized doesn’t mean that Hillary’s not a crook. The “rulers” aren’t a monolithic institution, but they do exist. They are a cartel of robber barons who are happy to tolerate Clinton’s corruption so she can be their figurehead and take the heat for screwing the American people. How can she possibly believe what she’s saying when she’s changed so many times? She would betray her LGBT followers in a heartbeat if it meant more money and power.

  8. So the 9/11 truther in residence is already peddling deep state conspiracy theories. Never saw that coming.

  9. JackOH says:

    Corruption hurts badly. “Your job is tough not because it’s tough, but because you can’t be sure who the crony and patronage hires who report to you are. They’ll do what you tell them, mostly, but at the end of the day they can afford to laugh in your face.” That’s what I told a new supervisor years ago.

    The supervisor was a very savvy Black guy, the people reporting to him exclusively White guys and gals. That makes talking about affirmative action, the corporate-gamed version of which seems to me a genuine evil, a miserable slog.

  10. I know a kitchen worker who purposely sliced into her finger, but not too far. It was worth it, she claimed = here in Brazil, Luís Ignácio Lulla da Silva (read: Selva).

  11. @the Southerner

    America has deep historical divisions embedded within its text … “rulers” like Clinton are not pursuing some self-serving personal enrichment scheme behind their open-borders agenda … they actually religiously believe in what they’re saying.

    Ha ha ha… “Text”. Got ourselves a gin-u-ine intellectual here, boys! In English, Jacques?

    But seriously, don’t be a twerp. Putting scare quotes around rulers is fussy and inaccurate. A ruler is someone who rules, and we certainly have a lot of them here in America. Hillary Clinton is one. If you have some hidden insight into what she does and does not believe re: open borders, I’d certainly love to hear it.

  12. Outwest says:
    @the Southerner

    “Government” has fused into a freestanding whole independent of the citizen class. Congress passes the Obamacare Act in secret which would seem to at least somewhat compromise “representative” democracy. But that actually is not a problem give that the COURT changes the clear, supposedly vetted language of the legislation. Checks and balances have fused into a unitary lay-it–to-the-citizen cabal of the several branches of government.

    We’re noe at the end of a four year period during which congress actively sold its loyalty to lobbyist-represented interests for vast sums of money. This money is now being employed to fund fantasy-based commercials comprising soon-to-be-forgotten promises to aid the individual voter.

    It’s all quite obvious. Just take a critical look.

  13. woodNfish says:
    @the Southerner

    (Dinh) have zero intellectual consistency and instead bounce from one emotional platitude to another.

    Everything has balkanized

    The only parts of your screed I can agree with, the rest is pure drivel, especially the ridiculous claim that Clinton isn’t taking bribes for personal enrichment. That is pure delusion.

  14. Jason Bayz says: • Website

    My latest conspiracy theory: Linh Dinh is an agent of the deep state, set up in order to trick opponents of the deep state into thinking that Trump, who they deeply fear, is one of them. I have no evidence for this theory, but when has that ever mattered? The narrative makes sense to me, and so it’s how I’ll see the world.

    These conspiracies, in addition to being completely unsupported by evidence, also don’t really make sense. Who would have the motivation to do this? It’s not motivated by a hostility towards Whites, else they would have used a White fall guy. Desire to rev up hatred against “radical Islam?” The Obama administration refuses to even use the phrase. A desire to justify the “deep state?” Why they would murder people, risking their own skins, just to justify the expansion of a bureaucracy? Is there an ideology involved, something these “agents” are indoctrinated in? Whole ideologies are hard to keep secret. While people are hardly the moral angels that the Left makes them out to be, most will be very morally opposed to the idea of killing people unless they are motivated by extreme self-interest or ideology.

    One thing that distinguishes Right-wing conspiracism from Left-wing conspiracism is that the former usually posits the bogeyman as being motivated by either ideology or ethnicity. The Left’s bogeymen are instead people who are doing it for no reason at all or for reasons of self interest which don’t make any sense. If you are a billionaire, why go about killing people just for a few million more? There are many more enjoyable things you could do with your time.

    Here’s how I see it: you have a large number of elites who believe weakly in antiracism, never having the inclination to learn much about it. They are largely motivated by self-interest. A minority are apathetic non-believers and a different minority are true believers in the ideology, some White, some Jewish. The true believers push the apathetic rest toward doing what they want. Those in the deep state are motivated by the same considerations as the rest, some are true believers, some are weak believers, some are non-believers, but they are tasked with “keeping Americans safe.” Like many in law enforcement, they see constitutional rights as frequently getting in the way of their job, and believe they ought to be selectively interpreted when Lives Are At Stake. They believe in what they are doing, and I wouldn’t put it past them to even blackmail politicians to assure the funds keep flowing in. But they’re not going to kill a bunch of people over it, for the simple reason that they believe they are Doing Good. If they will do bad, that is how they will justify it.

  15. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Reminds me of Errol Morris “Nub City”,_Florida_(film)

    I guess if you’re life is that shitty, a double amputation to pay off your double wide starts to look like a no brainer. Can’t say I envy (or resent) them their little victories.

  16. grmbl says:

    Featured witnesses, those that go on Good Morning America, for example, are plants.

    Having the intelligence of a house plant, dim Linh is well qualified to identify which people are plants.

  17. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Priss Factor

    Luis Burbano, professional actor, claims he saw a bullet sticking out about five inches from a victim:

  18. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website
    @Linh Dinh

    Homos always come across as fake even when they tell the truth because they are so melodramatic and whoopity-doopity.

    Whaddya expect from tootkins?

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  19. Ragno says:
    @the Southerner

    Dunno about anybody else replying to this, but I’d be relieved if all she were doing were stealing; then she’d be like every other blowhard politician, but not appreciably worse than them, either. No, it’s those college photos of Hillary – sitting adoringly at Prof. Alinsky’s feet – that are gonna keep me from ever punching the chad beneath her name.

    But when I think that, 24 years ago, a completely different America went to the polls thinking, “Well….he seems okay, but I do NOT like The Wife”…..and somehow she outlasted them all, is still here, and is closer now to her dream of ultimate power than ever before….you have to wonder if even America resoundingly rejecting her at the polls will be enough to stop her. (For sure, every purported “news organization” in America stands ready to cover up any banana-republic voter fraud stunt her team will use to steal the election, in the name of The Next Best Thing To Shooting Hitler in ’33)

  20. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Priss Factor


    A rifle bullet is not a flying crayon but a pellet. It cannot possibly stick out five inches from a leg. Even unfired, a AR-15 bullet is only 2 inches long. If people can watch these phonies and believe them, the United States of America is truly lost.


    • Replies: @Lucius Somesuch
  21. @Linh Dinh

    Agreed. People must begin to wrap their heads around this. These “crisis actors” speak and speechify in a consistently unnatural, wordy, eerie way. The copious trail of these lengthy interviews with persons who have supposedly just lost an immediate loved one testify to a program of conscious and systematic falsification.

    These survivors, from Sandy Hook to Oregon and San Bernardino and now Orlando, deliver what I can only describe as the equivalent of a dull-witted parent reviewing aloud their not-very-bright teenager’s SAT prep practice essay. It’s not the language of anyone’s everyday speech, nor is it anything like good literary language– it’s more like a bad MFA creative writing student’s verbiage. These ‘average’ people use impossibly bad metaphors and unbelievable figures of speech– the supposed mother above has now “joined a club”, the club of parents who have lost a child to gun violence– how does this dolt of a woman come up with this trite nonsense on her own? It is not her language, it is the language of a Bolshevik Communications Major. Undeniably bad language– and yet completely not right coming from her mouth.

    And never mind that these people should be choked up with shock, grief, rage– no, they are (in this pitiful lowbrow way) horribly ‘articulate’, mouthing on and on about their wonderful loved one, the supposed ‘timeline’ of the atrocity, forgiveness and pulling together, and– oh yes– when oh when are we going to implement sensible gun control?! . . .

  22. mtn cur says:

    Regardless of actual events, Orlando is now a set of myths to satisfy every brand of brain dead or brain damage, as if Walt Dizzy-ness world had not caused enough warped minds. If you try, you can blame this on the cathode ray tube, which ushered in post literate America well before it actually was literate.

  23. martino says:
    @the Southerner

    sorry mister sur. I write from Spain (look the map) Amid other things we descober your america, and make all thouse hispanics whom soon will eat your balls if you are not aware. We were so smart to came back quickly, and came away from theese people. Kiss the ass the clintons, obamas, etc, and you soon will be in an absolute turmoil, if it is posible more than now. America will be soon a sort of pakistan, or mexico-honduras-colombia, your people is doomed by your governement, is being destroyed absolutement,slowly but at a pace.Get quickly a food stampand prepare you for be a homeless, if not are you too oldest, or have you gold hiding, cheers

  24. good report linn.Fress airfrom the bar as always.okay where yo says that if the upside is crooked and criminal so is the down. And sooner not will be another way of life that be a outlawer, a some criminal…. Soon all we will be homeless, and little criminals… a new world order.. ja, ja, ja

  25. […] plea for more gun control.” Less prone to cow pie, Lucius Somesuch, a commenter at Unz Review, observes, “It’s not the language of anyone’s everyday speech, nor is it anything like good literary […]

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