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, March 25. 2007
The ever-wise retired psychiatrist Ted Dalrymple takes a look at three books which document the decline of Britain, as their nanny-state government attempts to take over more and more of everyone's daily life. A quote from his piece, which focuses on education and policing:
The message seems to be that if you try to do everything, you do nothing right. Blair has been an utter disaster for the UK. Dalrymple's whole piece at City Journal here. Those of us for whom Britain is our ancestral homeland read such things and weep for the Brits, who seem determined to commit cultural suicide.
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I just read the whole thing. Though it's wonderfully well-written, not a word of it can be a surprise to anyone that has been watching the public sector evolve over here on our side of the pond.
Nevertheless, it is a crackling good read--I wish everyone in the country could read it. The Brits are only a little ways deeper in the hole than we are. The incentive systems, and the operative mechanisms, make the same use of the same facets of human nature. That is, broadly speaking, both systems exploit what is good, and encourage what isn't.
It's called Socialism, folks, and it is evil. Evil made up to look like its opposite ("love"), and thereby not only propagating itself, but also delegitimizing truth itself.
This was horrible but funny, on the police in the UK:
"The mandated, politically inspired obsession with racism is on view in the crawlingly embarrassing and condescending speech that the deputy chief constable (deputy police chief) of North Wales, Clive Wolfendale, gave to the inaugural meeting of the North Wales Black Police Association. He decided, Copperfield reports, to speak to the black officers in rap verse, which is about as tactful as addressing Nelson Mandela in pidgin. Here is an extract from Wolfendale’s speech:
Put away your cameras and your notepads for a spell.
I got a story that I really need to tell.
Bein’ in the dibble [police] is no cakewalk when you’re black.
If you don’t get fitted, then you’ll prob’ly get the sack.
You’re better chillin’ lie down and just be passive.
No place for us just yet in the Colwyn Bay Massive [police force]."
I concur with some of what they say about the police there. When I lived there, the worst thing you could say about the police was that they didn't have guns. They did used to give fairly ruthless whacks with their coshes. The difference I noticed on a recent visit was that when reporting a situation that required them to keep an eye on things, their only concern was what they were allowed to do, what might be deemed prejudicial, and liability. Never preventing crime. So I agree with the copper book theme.
Nevertheless, I have found that many of the working policemen in the UK as in this country,still take great care to walk the beat, get to know their communities (and I do not mean diversity training) and are often quite skilled at handling difficult or mentally ill people.
They are at their best in the ethnically homogenous villages where they know everyone and their family reputations for generations DUH, but true. An acquaintance who is bipolar and frequently dangerously paranoid and violent off meds, has been kept from harm and tactfully escorted to hospital as necessary all of their adult life when in the UK in the hamlet where the locals embarassingly but compassionately know the family history. The same person had guns drawn on them by 4 US police officers and was nearly killed when on a spree in this country. The difference was not in the threat posed by their behavior (real) but in the ability of the humane and familiar British coppers to defuse situations. Perhaps all this shows is not the superiority of the Brits but that police work is easier to do in communities that are homogenous or at least stable over time and where the officers are valued and not reviled, where liability suits do not haunt people...
Now, if I do not go to church, I will set a bad example fr the young...
Ronald Reagan's One Big Idea was that there is but one way to prevent modern society from describing the arc so well-deplored in Dalrymple's piece, and that way is to restrict the flow of cash to Leviathan.
Tax-cutters are effectively smeared as heartless greedy bastards who just want to hang onto their money so they can buy more stuff. But the truth is, creating a permanent underclass, and an army of no-nothing keepers to monitor it, is about as heartless and cruel a thing as can be.
And it's all in the interests of the thin crust which understands that it will manage the operation, forever legitimately, as representatives of the government "you elected".
I am increasingly of the opinion that the UK is beyond saving? Will the US be next ?? We on this side of the pond have been watching events in Washington with considerable interest.
Much was wounded at the Battle of the Somme. The fine old British certainty, most notably.
Related, from Pope Benedict:
Yeah, I saw that. Drudge was good today. Hope I can stay up long enough to listen to him tonite - I enjoy his radio show. He is pleasantly eccentric.
My cousin Mr. Free Market's comment was discouraging and depressing.
If I say this, all kinds of tomatoes will be thrown from unsavory quarters, but part of the problem is who is not having babies. Versus who are making like bunnies.
Somewere recently I read about different reproductive strategies, those of the "civilized" middle and upper middle class West being to produce very few kids per family, but invest heavily in their education and nurture, versus those of the underclasses, producing many children per woman, out of wedlock, with little investment in their upbringing. What may work in an abstract Darwinian sense (whose genes survive preferentially) does not necessarily produce the highest quality descendants.
I agree--I believe modernity is weakening the species. OTOH, people are getting larger and living longer. But that Cro-Magnon was a clever, clever fellow.