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Friday, September 30, 2011

I Promise There is a Point to this Post

Like the king from Alice in Wonderland, I like to “begin at the beginning” when I approach a problem.  With that in mind, just about every post I write begins with the premise that the healthy individual and the healthy society are interdependent.  One cannot exist without the other.  So when we talk about policies, trends and movements that impact the individual it naturally follows that we must also consider their impact on society.

To clarify, a “healthy” individual, in my view, is one who can take care of his own needs and the needs of his dependants without unduly burdening others in his society.  A healthy society, I would say, is one that offers the kind of environment and protections where people can succeed at being healthy individuals.  Others may be able to improve upon those definitions but they should suffice for now provided no leftists or lawyers join the conversation.

The reason I bring this up is that many conservatives, particularly those with libertarian leanings (and I tend to include myself in that group), are understandably apprehensive about anything that appears to advocate what’s best for society if it seems to come at the expense of individualism.  However, any time two things are interdependent, the first priority must be to protect each from mortal injury in order to ensure their mutual survival.  In my essays, when I opine about what is best or necessary for the future of our society, please know that I have weighed this against what is necessary for the future of the healthy individual as well.  Never do I intend to place the society above the individual unless I perceive that to do so is ultimately necessary for the survival and perpetuity of the healthy individual.  Some may disagree with my conclusions, and I will welcome those debates with my best attempt at an open mind because the importance of getting this right from the beginning cannot be overstated.  The question of what matters more – the individual or the group – is central to the war between Left and Right.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Mighty Tree of Progressivism

In a rocky area of Colorado, just south of the Wyoming border, much of the land there contains massive boulders that project straight and tall from the hillsides that are otherwise covered in pine trees.  Seeds from the pine trees find their way into cracks and crevices of the gigantic rocks and, amazingly, trees manage to emerge from there looking as if they’d grown straight from the rock itself.  They grow out and then bend towards the sky or they grow sideways, but they grow.  Certain seeds, once planted, have a way of thriving in spite of the odds.  This is how it is with the seeds of progressivism.

Wikipedia defines progressivism as A political attitude favoring or advocating changes or reform through governmental action.”  If I may take the liberty of putting my own spin on that, I would say that progressivism is a movement whereby one group of citizens seeks to impose their will and their vision upon the rest of the country by misappropriating and manipulating the power of government.  Under progressivism, the government gets progressively bigger and bigger.

I don’t know precisely when the seeds of progressivism blew into the cracks of our government, but the organized effort to nurture the seeds and help establish the roots in this country seems to have begun in earnest with Teddy Roosevelt’s inheritance of the presidency.  The legislation, programs, and attitudes advanced by Roosevelt and others helped sow the idea that meddling in every aspect of our lives and businesses is a legitimate function of the federal government.  That was all that was needed to establish the roots and base of what would soon grow to be a mighty tree.  Other administrations came along and, seizing upon this notion that the force of government should be exploited to “solve” society’s every problem, they began adding their own layers to the tree.  Progressivism begets more progressivism, and the laws, programs, regulations and agencies that grew out of the original “reforms” became the branches of the tree, and these in turn grew branches of their own.

Like any of those clubs and scams that are easy to join but require real effort to cancel, progressivism – once ingrained – works on auto pilot.  When a tragic accident occurred recently at an air show resulting in numerous injuries and fatalities, the ink was not yet dry on the newsprint before the media began the standard cry for the government to DO something.  And so another branch began to sprout from the now giant branch that represents the FAA.  One more regulation.  That’s what we need.  It no longer occurs to people to simply accept the fact that there’s a certain amount of risk at air shows.  If the perceived risk becomes too high and people stop buying tickets, the air show producers would be motivated to institute and advertise their own safety measures that would reduce the potential risk and bring their customers back.  It is possible to solve certain problems without the giant hand of government.

One of the biggest ironies of progressivism is the tendency to look to government solutions to address the problems caused by…progressivism!    Look at what’s happened with the “war on poverty” that was part of progressive Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” agenda and which now is a giant branch on the tree of progressivism.  It’s led to hundreds of other branches in the form of acts, programs and agencies established to carry out this intentionally nebulous plan.  Things like generational dependence on welfare and 40-plus million people currently on food stamps are among the unfortunate but predictable results.  Looking for ways to curtail abuse of these programs, some have suggested micro-managing food stamps, forced sterilization programs and drug testing.  In other words, let’s add yet more branches to the tree.  And I have to confess that I’ve been guilty of this type of thinking at times.  It’s a reflexive response when one is under the assumption that government is ultimately responsible for us.  We’ve become so mired in trying to contain tenth-generation branches that we’ve lost sight of the real source of the problem which is the roots, the trunk and the primary branches.

It’s time to take an ax to the tree, striking as deeply into as we possibly can.  It won’t be easy, as this tree now dwarfs anything you might find in the infamous redwood forests of California.  To complicate matters, it’s completely surrounded by a sea of leftists who want to protect this particular tree at all costs.  And the final rub?  Our champion tree cutters – the folks we look to for leadership – are only armed with… herrings.

As we observe the fight for the presidency over the coming months we should be asking, “Who among them, if any, is ready to wield an ax?”

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Meaning of Anti-Tea Partyism

“Take these son-of-a-bitches out!” said union thug/Teamsters president, Jimmy Hoffa.

All laughable hypocrisy aside, it actually pleases me to see the Left openly exposing their hatred of the Tea Party, since it clearly and unequivocally demonstrates what they stand against.  The Tea Party agenda is strait forward and quite simple.  They want a return to limited government as it was intended under the Constitution.  This includes the reinstatement of what are supposed to be our constitutionally protected freedoms, reduced government spending (read: lower taxes) that does not exceed our revenue, and a return to REAL fairness – not the Left’s convoluted definition of it.  

There’s a good reason that such a seemingly reasonable agenda does not sit well with union thugs and others on the Left.  It’s because they have an agenda of their own, and it also is quite simple.  They want the transfer of wealth from “the rich” to the “working families” (i.e. them or their constituents) whom they deem to be more deserving of that wealth, and this theft requires the force and camouflage provided by a big, powerful, bloated federal government.  In other words, they want to cheat, just as they do when they play their little game of incivility tag, and their determination and sense of entitlement are no trivial matter. Once people have shown that they lack the good conscience to acquire what they want by honest means, there really is no telling what they are capable of as evidenced by what we see going in places like Mexico.  We are at war already, whether we know it or not.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What Price for Power?

Many years ago I remember reading a horrifying story about a man who set his young son on fire in a vengeful act against his ex-wife.  I was astonished and sickened that someone could be so consumed with their own selfish need for power and control that they would destroy something good and precious to fulfill that need.  The way I see it there is not much difference between the mentality of that man and the mentality of the far Left elites in this country.  If the destruction of this country is what it will take in order for them to control things and be powerful, then the destruction of this country is what they will have.  Let’s look at the evidence.

“…divided we fall.”

While the tendency towards racism and sexism is a universal problem rooted in human nature, we have made great strides over the past century in this battle.   This, you might think, should be cause for celebration and self-congratulations, right?  No.  You see, at some point it dawned on the Left that the divisions among races and genders could be useful to the Left’s struggle for power, and they began scratching their bearded chins.  Now the party that purports to want everyone to live in color-blind harmony curiously spends its time perpetually fanning the flames of racism and sexism.  They insist that anything less than 100% progress is the equivalent of zero progress, that any unflattering truths or criticisms of women or minorities amounts to sexism or racism, and they fuel resentment and divisiveness by pandering to certain groups at the expense of others.

Same goes with their inflammatory rhetoric on the differences in economic classes which always have and always will exist.  “Class warfare” is an apt description for the Left’s real intent here.  Forget the fact that people move in an out of various economic classes during their lifetimes.  Forget the failures of socialism.  Forget that we’re all Americans in the end.  Divide and conquer.

Undermining Traditions and Values

It shouldn’t take a genius to observe patterns of behavior that are universally common to successful cultures around the world in order to understand the connection there.  Marriage and the promotion of stability of the family unit is a pretty consistent common denominator to successful cultures.  But the behaviors that arise from our natural instinct for long term survival are no match for the arrogance of the leftist elites who believe they know better than all of the billions of people who came before them.  With smug confidence in their own superior wisdom, they deem the tradition of marriage to be old-fashioned, passé.  And they demonize and ridicule those who won’t go along.  Well, children can be forgiven for the sin of youthful stupidity; as long as we can expect that at some point they will grow up and recognize the error of their ways.  But this never happens with the Left.  The results of their little experiment have long been in.  The correlations between single-parent homes and increased crime, poverty and welfare dependence are clear.  For the sake of these families and for a nation that is straining from the burden, do they acknowledge their mistakes and revise their stance?  No.  Once again they scratch their chins and ponder the usefulness of their own folly.  Crime, poverty and welfare dependency cry out for an increase in government oversight, don’t they?  Hmmm. 

And so, inspired by the blinding success of their agenda so far, they attack more of our traditions and values.  Marriage IS important they finally decide – but only if you’re gay.  Religion?  That’s gotta go (unless you’re a Muslim terrorist, in which case we must endeavor to better understand you and protect your rights to religious freedom).  The Left will always instinctively seek to undermine the foundations of a successful society because, like restless teenagers, they must have something to rebel against in order to satisfy their yearning for attention and self-importance.  The debacles that result, far from awakening the Left to their idiocy as we always hope, simply add to the chaos and divisions that they find useful to their pursuit of power.

The Forbidden Truth

It is standard practice for the Left to not only avoid certain truths, but to punish, libel and silence those who dare to speak them.  When my liberal neighbor was discussing “Bowling for Columbine” with me (I’ve never seen it), she was intrigued by the mystery of high gun violence in the U.S. relative to other countries.  According to her and the movie’s producers I’m told, this remains a puzzle that hasn’t been solved.  Well I like puzzles and it just so happens I have access to the internet.  I discovered, with about an hour’s worth of research, that black males commit murders at a rate of about seven times that of white males.  In many of these crimes, a gun is used.  Blacks make up approximately 11% of the U.S. population, which is far more than that of many of the countries we were compared to in the film.  Mystery solved. 

But the producers of “Bowling for Columbine” were never really looking for the truth, nor would they like it to be exposed.  In fact, if I were to announce my findings in some media setting I would be immediately denounced and dismissed as a racist.  Resolving the gun violence “crisis” is far less important, apparently, than uniting leftists and blacks in their fight against the establishment (i.e. conservatives).

Other truths that are not allowed to be spoken:  the illegitimacy epidemic among minorities; high crime rates among minorities and illegal aliens; disproportionately high welfare benefits to minorities; taxpayer subsidies for illegal aliens; the societal cost for single motherhood; the physical disparities between men and women; aptitude differences between men and women; truths that interfere with theories about global warming; the list goes on and on. 

None of these problems will ever be resolved as long as we are barred from facing the truth.  This is how the Left wants it because resolving these problems would force the Left’s myriad constituencies to give up the things (free bennies, promiscuity without responsibility….) that keep them in the pocket of the Left. 

So, keep the truth to yourself.

Stamping out Patriotism

I addressed this in detail in a recent post (see) so I won’t delve too deeply into it here but suffice it to say patriotism is a necessary component for a successful nation, and we all know where the Left stands (or should I say sits?) when it comes to patriotism.

Fostering Bad Behavior

Today’s Left, unable to carry out their agenda by force and frustrated by Constitutional restraints that interfere with their wish to dominate, engage in behaviors that can only be intended to destabilize this nation.  These include intimidation tactics, mob-style behaviors, violence, lying and refusing to play by the rules that they helped establish (such as their own laughable calls for “civility”).  These behaviors are like straws on the proverbial camel’s back.  They can only be withstood for so long and, when combined with the other behaviors described here, they contribute to an environment that is toxic to this nation. 

 It’s time for people to wake up and see the Left for who and what they really are.  They are not simply a party with different ideas on how to run the country.  They want to destroy the country as we know it.