We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, October 18. 2009
From Nyquist's What the Founding Fathers Would Say from last year:
Read the whole thing.
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“I receive many emails from readers. A significant percentage of these express violent hatred of the government. Many are those who think they can diagnose a sick republic, when the correct diagnosis is a sick society. The government in our time reflects the condition of the governed. We have become a permissive people. We tolerate what should not be tolerated. We have become consumers instead of citizens. We have become narcissistic and foolish.”
“Ludwig von Mises asked: “Who is responsible for the deplorable events of the last decades?” According to Mises, “Almost all the fathers of socialism were members of the upper middle class or of the professions.”
That same analysis holds for the United States, as well. “It is not true,” wrote Mises, “that the dangers to the maintenance of peace, democracy, freedom, and capitalism are a result of a ‘revolt of the masses.’ They are an achievement of scholars and intellectuals, of sons of the well-to-do, of writers and artists pampered by the best society.” It seems that the socialist revolution of our time is born out of bourgeois affluence. Therefore, the greatest affluence promises the greatest of all revolutions.”
Nyquist contradicts himself here. Our government does not reflect over half of its governed at the moment; and it is not the ‘governed’, the every day citizen who has the control. As Nyquist tells us, it is the intellectuals and well-to-do, the affluent, who have sway over the governed. And if violence is evil, as he says, what is pacifism?
“Today’s totalitarian powers are akin to scavengers who patiently wait on progressive enervation to do most of their work. They see the advance of American decadence. They see our rising debt. They see that a great financial correction is coming.”
Now clean it up, Mr. Nyquist. What’s your solution? We’ve had enough observations to last us until doomsday.
-i think, from reading his columns, that his solution is to try to live with (or despite) the large implacable forces of human nature, and to learn what causes what, and to try to inform whomever you can of what you have learned.
can't really accuse the man of being grandiose --or even grand, for that matter. 'your humble correspondent' comes to mind as a pretty good description of the tone of the essays. as far as credibility, simple take a look at the titles from the years past:
...and ask yourself, what happened to the solutions for those things that he (among many others of course) said would soon happen, and that we in hindsight know finally did happen? Were there no solutions back before this or that event or tipping point came into being? Of course there were.
Its just that --well remembering the essence of classic tragedy is to know something will happen and yet be powerless to prevent it --the type of problems that Nyquist speaks of require a salvation of America that may well leave her no longer America. And thus his animating conundrum, and thus his theme of willed futility.
yep it's strong bitter medicine alright --but not so bitter as a Kommissar's noose.
I know what to do and so does everyone who can balance a checkbook.
We need to return to the limited form of republican government outlined in the Constitution. The genius of the Constitution is that it provides enough structure to prevent anarchy, provide for security, establish a balance of power between the federal and state governments, and a checks and balances between branches.
Here are some thoughts (in no particular order) on accomplishing the task of returning to limited government.
1) Restore constitutionalism by appointing strict constitutionalist judges. Judges, who are appointed for life, must be subject to impeachment for unconstitutional rulings. Any legislation that is passed by Congress must immediately be assessed for its constitutionality.
2) Reduce the size of government by requiring reductions in spending in real terms by 3% to 5% per year. Follow the Tenth Amendment and return these social spending issues to the states. All programs must have sunset provisions and require annual votes. Prohibit the use of omnibus bills, earmarks and stealth, unrelated amendments.
3) Establish a flat tax at 15% with no exceptions for anyone regardless of income. Everyone has skin in the game.
4) Maintain our military might. Our security and freedom should be the cornerstone of Win the war with radical Islam. We don't have to occupy, but we can and will strike when necessary.
5) Establish a fraud proof system for voter registration, voter identification and vote casting process. There is no need to register 10 minutes before an election.
6) Secure our borders. Legal immigration is fine. Illegal immigration is not.
This would get is going in the right direction. The goal of government is not to try to make life risk free. We already know what we need from government to pursue life, liberty and happiness.
good list, Barrett. But it's like advising someone having a heart attack to "quit having a heart attack".
Of course, on second thought, if the patient could decide to quit having the heart attack...well that'd be different altogether.
I don't know, Buddy. Barrett came up with solutions. He doesn't plan to go out there alone and make those things happen anymore than he would will his heart back into rhythm. But suppose a "Barrett" did become our president? Sounds to me as if he'd do some serious ass-kicking.
What confounds me is no one is doing anything. I was taught that if I had a complaint not to utter it unless I could offer a solution. We have those who do the doomsday, looking-back, pining away writers - few who offer solutions much less the strategy to get them done; and we have those who know what the solutions are but have no way to bring them about. It isn't a 'fault' of either, but I'm sick and tired of being told just what lowlife sloths we are and how we're doomed. That does not make people want to rise up and fight - it just depresses them, which is the last thing we need right now. We can spend our lives learning from the past and ultimately find ourselves in the past when it is the future that beckons us. Do not complain unless you have a solution. Bring me up off my knees, for crying out loud.
okay, i'll try. there;s all kinds of good things about America and Americans. We really are fair-mined, optimistic, can-do, problem-solvers, by nature. Matter of fact, all that is precisely what has gotten us in trouble --we just do not want to think ill of someone who seems to be trying to serve the public interest. So does that mean we aren't cynical *enough*?
ok, yore turn!
Piffle. Half our population is made up of idiots. The Duh-Factor trumps any possibility of cynicism in these/those people, so forget them. Except we can't because Marshall McLuhan was right: The medium is the message, and those idjits are buying it. For the rest of us who come by our cynicism justly, we have a huge fight ahead of us, and reminding us with lugubrious lamentations by writers who love to remind us of what befalls us if we don't pay homage to the past is not helping. They're not wrong, and I'm sure they are sincere, but give us a break. Nyquist creates "willed futility" - along with every other writer of history who feels compelled to warn us and remind us how frivolous we have been. Greek tragedy writ large is a fact, but it hasn't happened yet, and making us stand numb with a finger up our nose and pizzle down one leg of our jeans is not where we need to be. I don't think our smarter half needs any more reminding right now. Just give us someone we can stand behind...... lawww, what a force we'd be after reading all this doom and gloom. I'm ready to take up whatever 'arms' we need, but quit whining at me! I'm learned, I'm learned.......
okay, okAY, alRIGHT already!
No more goom and dloom for zee Meta!
You give in too easily. I love that in a man.
I'm sorry for the late reply, but work gets in the way sometimes.
In my moments of reckless thinking, I have considered what it would be like to be President. It is not something I aspire to do or want for myself or anyone around me. The invasion of privacy would be horrible. I can only imagine the character assassination I would face if I ran and told the truth about what I would do. I could imagine being attacked by many Republicans as well as the leftists.
In my mind's eye, I would be a one term President and I would place sunlight on as much as I could in order to disinfect Washington as much as possible. As I stated above, the goals would be relatively straightforward. My hope would be that the manner in which a President governed would be changed forever.
Having said that, I don't know how a no-name outsider with a middle-class everything about him could ever get elected in today's world of big money politics. The entire political establishment from the department staffs to the unionized government bureaucrat to the janitors in Congress would likely be against me. Anyone who wants to slim down government would be a threat.
My hope is that a person with similar views and the means to get elected will emerge to make a real run at the Presidency.
Buddy, what about you or do you have my problem as well?
Why did I even write this? I must be too tired.
You wrote it because you're as frustrated as the rest of us. I understand what you're saying about the 'ordinary' good guy being unelectable, but you ran into a tiny flaw.... I think, anyway. I think there is an electable person out there who thinks the way you do. Now here's where I veer off-course: I want a military guy who understands discipline and orders and deals with insubordination as only the military can. First week in office, the order goes out to every government, federal and state, to cut 10% of its work force out. Unemployment lasts three weeks.
sigh.... I'm so idealistic. But I truly believe the pendulum is on its way back down. We're in the midst of chaos, and the only way out is up. And this time, I think we will have learned something - for a change.
P.S. A military man has fought for this country. He'll not be apt to go around apologizing for it.
I would be very happy with a "military guy" for the reasons you cite.
There was some scuttlebut about General Patraeus making bid a while ago.
Like you, I do think there is someone out there. I just hope he or she emerges at the right time.
By the way, a 10% reduction in the government workforce would not be missed if it was taken from the administrative types. For example, the bureaucrats always say they will need to cut teachers, policemen and firemen whenever threatened with spending cuts. It's total BS.