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.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, July 8. 2012
Are America's components too large, too diverse in culture, religion, geography, population, prosperity, politics, way of life and point of view, for one-size-fits-all directives from Washington?
I believe so. That's why I don't care that Vermont is socialist, or that Massachusetts has Romneycare, or that Texas is Texas, or that Stockton is Stockton.
Or that California - by itself the 8th largest economy in the world - is wacky California. I'm in favor of letting them be what they want to be, but not on my nickel. Do your own thing, dude, take responsibility for it, but don't ask me to pay for it. I have my hands full caring for my own.
On this Independence Day week, with the Sousa bands and the marching Vets and the martial rockets' red glare, I think about this: the primary job of the Feds is to protect us from external threats so we, the people, are free to figger out life in our own ways. Not in the ways determined by our supposed "betters."
In America, we acknowledge no "betters." "Betters" are for Europeans and Asians.
We are not children, nor are we stupid: after all, many of us were educated in government schools. We are in life, not cloistered in Washington and we are all as smart - if not as articulate BSers - as they are. We know there is no life on earth without problems, difficulties, challenges, and death at the end of it. That's plain reality. What we do not need is our governments making it all more difficult. We can handle it, most of it.
In America today, the greatest threat to individual and local freedom is our own Federal government. Our external threats are relatively trivial, given our power.
That simple opinion could put you on the DHS terrorism watch-list. That's what I'm talkin' about. Gov. LePage might soon be on that list too: Maine Governor Calls Obamacare’s Army of IRS Agents the “New Gestapo”.
Maine has nothing in common with DC, Hollywood, or Chicago. Nothing, well, except for harvesting the Maine lobsters that the limo Liberals feed on.
When governments accomplish the basic, simple tasks to which they are assigned, they tend to grandiosely meddle in other things to feel important, to keep themselves busy, to invent problems, or to buy votes with the voters' money (A Nation of Takers?). It's an insidious use of power even if it sometimes satirizes itself and makes us laugh at its foolishness: An Open Letter to Mayor Bloomberg. Please do not "help" us, jerks. Most of us are far from helpless.
Steyn might be right about this:
Is leaving people alone a full-time job? Naw, it couldn't be. Corny as it may be to post, this is one of our historic American flags, and some days I wish we had kept it for its ornery assertion to governmental power:
"We are not children, nor are we stupid:"
after all, many of us were educated in government schools. We are in life, not cloistered in Washington and we are all as smart - if not as articulate BSers - as they are. We know there is no...
Tracked: Jul 08, 12:14
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The Constitution Convention of 1787 was a mistake. The delegates were sent to Philadelphia to tinker with the Articles of Confederation. Instead, activists ceased control of the process and wrote a Constitution that created a strong central government. Our entire history, especially that of Supreme Court decisions, has been to centralize all power in the federal government and to impose uniformity in all matters upon the States and their Citizens. This artificial (and unavoidable) uniformity is what causes our griefs. The feds simply won't let people be.
The problems of California and Stockton are our problems and will require our money because of the Constitution. In fact, all of our modern problems, including every economic downturn since and including the Great Depression, can be directly linked to the meddling of the federal government.
The great military power of the federal government is not needed to prevent invasion. Three thousand miles of rough Atlantic Ocean and ten thousand miles of Pacific Ocean do that. Along with feckless Canada and backward Mexico.
The kind of world you apparently want (and I do want) requires abandoning the Constitution and return to the Articles. Perhaps a second constitutional convention would get it right. Just tinker on the margins.
Lots of folks have noted over the years the enormous problem created by the Founders' apparent neglect to enjoin the House and Senate from changing their own rules with such ease that Pelosi, for example, during her speakership, often did not even bother with a nod to the rules committee, effecting rules changes with an announcement and gavel, in real time, during session. See the debate over the Colombia free trade issue, for example. We can't be doing stuff like that --in the hall of the Rule of Law, it's rule of outlaw --jungle rule in the heart of the very instrument conceived in particular to end that very jungle rule.
Yes, the Philly event was a coup, arranged by and for the benefit of the holders of revolutionary war bonds. The prime concern was the strenghening of the power of the State to raise money to pay off bondholders.
All sounds dreadfully familiar, doesn't it?
Bob, I'm spending free time re-studying the history of the United States, so I appreciate your comments on the Constitutional Convention and meddling by the Federal government causing most economic crises.
Our family enjoys "road-tripping" to small communites off the major highways, retracing the places travelled by our ancestors, the conflicts and hardships they encountered and
the cultural differences among these various settlements.
The attempt to build a European "community" (not to mention a World Order) should prove that one solution for all does not consider the language, religious and cultural differences among the citizens of an area. Birmingham vs. Gulf Shores, AL? Madison vs. Land O' Lakes, WI? Houston vs. Abilene, TX? Chicago vs. Cairo, IL? We have sufficient problems bringing various constituents of states together, not to mention making the Federal government a one-size fits all monarchy over all it surveys. I thought that's why our forefathers fought The American Revolutionary War.
Steyn also mentions homogeneity of population and common interest as a necessary factor in big government, and I have thought that more important. Socialism is Sweden's a little easier when everyone is from the same tribe. This discussion of size in and of itself as a ruining factor has me thinking, though. Thanks.
Boy, if THAT ain't the can o worms! Safest way to go about it is to repeal the 17th Amendment.
BD, fwiw, I don't find the illo corny at all --to the contrary, in fact.
You and Nyquist are on the same wavelength these days, BD.
(here's an excerpt, copied-over hyperlinks invisible, natch)
In Carl Jung’s Undiscovered Self, we read of the outbreak of a global “neurosis” which spreads through the adult population – facilitated by government. As the state intervention grows, the individual shrivels. The idealist uses the state to solve social problems, to cure the ills of society. But this cannot work, says Jung: “The mass State has no intention of promoting mutual understanding and the relationship of man to man; it strives, rather, for atomization, for the psychic isolation of the individual. The more unrelated individuals are, the more consolidated the State becomes….”
The growth of the state and rising government debt has a social cost, a moral cost, and a psychological cost. Government now intervenes in every area of life. Government’s divorce policy and family court system in the United States, for example, constitutes one of the greatest institutions of plunder ever devised. Jung warned against “apparent morality … [cloaked] in deceptive colors [beneath which there lies] a very different inner world of darkness.” The growth of the state is sinister, and the growth of government debt is a dark promise indeed. Claiming to help the economy out of trouble, the state interferes with the necessary process of creative destruction. Even worse, however, the state interferes with the family and the self-worth of the individual; for the state gains in power at the expense of the family and the individual. The moral backwardness today may be blamed on the state. The financial crisis has the state’s finger prints upon it. The more the state does, the more the society disintegrates. This is not mere economic harm, but spiritual harm as well.
It is a moral axiom that pain is necessary to life, since it is the signal for taking protective measures. In the economy pain is the signal for saving money. But now, in the Age of Pain Free, people turn to government. They do not take things upon themselves. After all, in most developed countries they have the social safety net. Yet they are less and less able to cope as government loads more and more onto the backs of the producers.
If you wish, you may of course read the piece's opening and closing, as well as see the hyperlinks, at the link.
America is the world in microcosm. It's a test of what a global society might become. The test is ongoing, however, and it might be failed.
When foreigners look at the US, they usually miss the great variety within our borders.
What PacRim Jom said.