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Saturday, March 12. 2011
What "America" Are We Now?
Once the US was the New World of promise. After World War II, with optimism and skills, we successfully led the Free World. Since the surrender of Vietnam, and the power of a masochistic elite became entrenched in our media and academia, with a brief and fragile intermission for Morning In America, we've become the Lazy World. With the embattlement of our economy and the fecklessness of our current administration, we're the Retrenching World. What's next? Wayne's World or The New Beginning at keeping the promise?
Posted by Bruce Kesler in Our Essays, The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:17 | Comments (17) | Trackbacks (0)
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As Napolean is reported to have said, there are no bad soldiers - only bad leaders.
Things may get very ugly. We've not shown the ability, in this generation anyway, to work together to resolve major problems. We've seemingly lost the national consensus on what it means to be an American. The rot, in my opinion, set in about the time the Beats showed up.
But then, a leader who can convince the electorate broadly that we are indeed special - and that the effort is worth making - may well find the path to success. But, there's a dark side to that as well as a bright side.
I don't consider Obama that leader. Community organizer-in-chief, yes. But not a leader.
Never forget the veneer of civilization is exceedingly thin.
My thoughts of the American future world --have to begin with the Yamantau Mountain Complex in the southern Urals, not far from the Kazakhstan border. Why was it far up the list of many congressmen's concerns a few years ago, but is nowhere to be mentioned anymore? Why was it specifically written out of the inspection protocol of Start II? If ordinary logic is applied to these questions, then there's not much need to spend any time cogitating on the American future --it will be up to others, in the event, at that point in time whenever our sovereignty can be asked for, the bid being our lives.
I try to reassure me daughter when she is bemoaning sure fate Mudboy is taking us to that USA is better than he and his crowd and a few can turn a thousand to flight.
Only take courage.
Why, then, when I came, was there no man? and no one to give answer to my voice? has my hand become feeble, so that it is unable to take up your cause? or have I no power to make you free? See, at my word the sea becomes dry, I make the rivers a waste land: their fish are dead for need of water, and make an evil smell.
There is no clear direction.
There are clear directionS.
We will either devolve into a post-European mixed economy with lazy check-cashers funded by a paper-printing Treasury, supported by state subsidized businesses and a bloated lobby industry OR
We will awaken our inner spirits and realize that there is nothing in life that is guaranteed, free, and that rights are only rights if we live up to the responsibilities that go along with them.
Sadly, the left is focusing on rights without responsibilities (or with coerced responsibility which suits their desires), and the right is focusing primarily on social requirements which are outdated and unneeded for political discussion.
The clear starting point is finance and economics. Clean that up, and the rest will take care of itself. I am afraid we pay only lip service to this goal, however.
Simply put (IMHO) our populace has been taught, mainly through television, to sit back and relax with brains in alpha rhythm, letting images of all kinds flow through with little or no retention for hours on end.
The long-term result to the individual seems to me to be an inability to think analytically. Hence the "leaders" we worship and sometimes elect. Hence the ignorance about civics and economics.
My solution is to destroy the hollywood media machine and its purveyors.
We are reaping what we have sewn since Korea.
I believe we are awakening and will move to the right into a unified, patriotic bunch again in my lifetime. We awakened after the Civil War, we awakened after the depression and then we just got tired and let the jerks take over.
America is waking up and the election of 2010 and the Tea Party are the reasons I am optimistic.
My theory is that we've become a nation of morons led by the inept who are guided by incompetents.
I offer this as a perfect example. The fun part is at 3:36 when he describes his job as "working for a dictatorship" at the restaurant he works at.
"Workers are told what to cook, and how to cook it, and they’re told when to show up for work." And it just keeps getting better from there.
Rand Paul, somebody who I really don't agree with most of the time, said something during the Energy Committe hearings the other day that described our society perfectly. To paraphrase, "A woman can choose to have an abortion, but citizens are not allowed to make their own choice as to which lightbulb or toilet they are allowed to buy."
And that is it in a nutshell. In large part, we've become numbed to everything because there is literally nothing that can be done immediately and nobody really knows the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Everyday there is a bombardment of "instant polls" that are contradictory and offer nothing of substance that an average citizen can use to make a decision.
In my state, we now have a governor and a legislature who I think are completely and totally bug shit crazy (please excuse the language - I'm making a point). Taxing money that hasn't been spent is their latest scheme. If you buy something on sale, you have to pay taxes on the full retail price. Buy a car with a sticker price of $30,000 for $26,000 and you pay taxes on the $30K. Brilliant huh? And that's just one of the proposals for tax increases. Want gas? You'll pay .15¢ more taxes on an already ridiculous per gallon tax. Did you know that in CT, you pay taxes on taxes? Yes folks, we pay something called a "gross receipts tax" per gallon of gasoline. That means that you add the cost of a gallon to the state/federal taxes together than add the gross receipts tax (sales tax) to that. Great huh?
I don't think anybody actually realizes any of this - they just keep on keeping on and it just keeps getting worse.
Wayne's World? Nah - more like Dawn of The Dead. As Robert Heinlein said "There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him."
I watched the video, Tom. If these kids are "the best and the brightest," we are all doomed. If the inmates take over the asylum, they can call that restaurant "Lost Our Noodles" instead of just "Noodles."
(Not trying to hijack a thread here, but just saw on Fox News, Julie Banderas in hip waders reporting from New Jersey! It doesn't get any sexier than that, except for the New Jersey part.)
Fortunately they aren't the best and brightest.
And that's a good thing.
lessee, i can either comment on the thoughtful pieces above, or on Julie Banderas in waders. ah, decisions decisions
Thoughtful? Which one: the little brain, or the big brain?!
We have 2 conservative heros to celebrate this week:
James O'keefe and Governor Walker.
It's a start!
amen, Dan #12 --O'Keefe sets the furtive running, like a prophet of olde. And Walker is pure guts and knows how to frame it.
Big Al, as old Hamlet said, aye, there's the rub --
At least, now that Gov. Walker has signed the bill and it is law, maybe I can stop being haunted by the thought of his being attacked and perhaps assassinated. If those thugs we see in the news videos have their way, I fear for his safety. He should keep some National Guardsmen at hand, i think.