“America as we have conceived of it is done.”
Then why are we bothering to talk about it?
America as it exists today changed from something else to what it is now — and it will change from what it is now into something else again.
What the new something else is — is up to us.
Socialist ideas are wrong. Socialist policies fail to deliver. Socialist programs are value destroying. Socialist public bodies are wasteful and ruinous. Socialist promises are lies. Socialist politicians are fools or scoundrels. Socialist authority tries to coerce outcomes that it can never achieve.
Socialism cannot work.
Socialism always fails.
So as American gets more socialistic, it is simply that much closer to the exhaustion and disintegration of socialism, American style.
It is a matter of when and how, not if, a socialistically organized American public sector, or corporatist-public sector, will fail.
So, America as we conceived it is not only not done, it is going to be only alternative remaining when the people who benightedly or maliciously tried to “vote themselves rich” have imposed enough ruin on themselves.
Ronald Reagan was right about the Soviet Union, and everybody else, including me, was wrong. While earnest looking men in suits advised the President about that invincible Nemesis sprawled athwart Eurasia, Reagan would respond with a joke about how the elevators and toilets never work in Russia.
American style crony capitalism and political machine hackery will die a similar death for identical reasons.
We are having this discussion because even Rev. Sensing himself surely believes there is an America worth living in that we may yet succeed in creating — as hard as it will be to do that.
And technology is on our side.
We are near the bottom of a J-shaped curve, but the upswing is coming.
We are heading through a painful transition period to America 3.0.
Lift your chin. Be happy. Don’t give up.
Fear God and dread nought.
We are going to win this thing.
Who’s with me?
30 thoughts on ““America as we have conceived of it is done.” Really? No.”
Pretty well all of the non American modern societies are in part socialistic. Certainly Canada is, we are generally pleased with this and even our present right wing, for us, government will not make any attempt to change this much, as it’s instant death for a political party here.
You lot look pretty dumb most days but especially when you get out the “socialism is bad” mantra. Your silly medical system is a great example. Twice the national price of a reasonable system and poor results for those who are not rich and get sick.
Despair is also a sin.
And even if the fight seems hopeless – there are still things worth fighting for.
The siege of the Alamo began this day, in 1836. They were overwhelmed, of course – but a month later, there was a miraculous victory.
Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods.”
Remember who we are, still. Remember who we came from.
I agree: the American Empire which will succeed the fallen Republic will be powerful, wealthy, and an enviable place to live, if you’re not in one of the kulak, kefir, or whatever clever term will be invented to persecute the adherents of the former West and former America.
PenGun, you look pretty dumb when you tout Canada’s health care system.
Here is one of thousands of critiques from the not-Conservative Huffington Post. Other countries perform better because … wait for it … “[e]ach of these nations’ universal access health care systems — every one of them — has a larger role for the private sector in financing and delivery than Canada with cost sharing, private competition in the delivery of health care services, and private parallel health care and health care insurance.” State supported health care works best when it maximizes incentives using markets or market like mechanisms.
In any case, the USA is not Canada, not Western Europe and not likely to be successful with a government-dominated health care system.
Fortunately, alternatives to the shambling monstrosity of Obamacare will be debated, refined and adopted in the years ahead.
Sure. When socialism fails, we’ll never try it again. After all, progressivism is in no way a cult, impervious to facts. We’ll learn our lesson, just like Argentina does every 30 years.
Canada, contrary to what PenGun says from the peoples’ republic of British Columbia, private care in Canada is growing rapidly. Canadians will no longer have to drive to Spokane or Minnesota or Verm ont for medical care.
Private surgery in Canada.
If you are in need of a surgery and have been put on a long waitlist, contact us now for a free, no obligation quote, and you could be back on track to a normal lifestyle within two weeks.
Canada must offer private medical care.
Canada must offer private options along with universal health-care to combat long wait times: report
The national median wait time was 18.2 weeks, about three days longer than last year, according to the 2013 edition of the Fraser Institute’s annual report.
Another increase in median wait times for medical treatment despite fast-growing public health-care spending means Canada should look abroad for alternative ways of delivering universal health care with private options, say the authors of a new report.
“Other countries with universal health care systems spend less than we do and don’t force citizens to wait like this,” said Nadeem Esmail, director of health policy studies for the Fraser Institute and co-author of the think tank’s report on medical wait times in Canada.
I could go on. PenGun is ignorant or lying.
I am very sympathetic to your optimism, but I think that the tentacles of the totalist government are wrapped tighter than we know or even imagine.
The only way out that I have been able to imagine is one I wrote about last year, “There Will Not Be a Rebellion.”
I know what my plans are to fight to turn this around, and create a great America for my children and grandchildren.
Stand by for further reports on this blog.
Tell me what steps do you propose to take to give up?
“The Battle of San Jose”
… “gold-plated pensions” for public workers are devastating San Jose, creating public eyesores like shuttered libraries, deserted recreational centers, and streets desperately in need of repair. … As the cost of the blue model puts pressure on state and municipal finances, Democrats can no longer honestly claim to represent both the public employee producers of government services and the people, especially low-income families, who rely on such services …
“The poor and middle-class are paying more in taxes even as services are being cut. … pension costs account for a full quarter of San Jose’s fiscal pie, quadruple what it did only ten years ago.
“And we still can’t even call public employees the clear victors in this ugly contest. In San Jose, the number of current public employees has been cut by almost thirty percent. In other words, public employee union members are paying dues to secure benefits that could eventually force cities to fire them.”
Post Mortem, written a few weeks back by Richard Fernandez about the collapse of Venezuela, nailed it:
Adam Smith once remarked that “there is a great deal of ruin in a nation”. That is usually understood to mean that it takes a long time to break things. And that’s probably what Leonard Hernandez thought: maybe next year things will get better and I’ll buy that car. But is more correct to say ‘a great deal of ruin’ means “it takes a long time to realize that things are breaking”.
The clue is the total finality of the crash when it comes. The victim when examined for postmortem is drained of blood; his organs are all twisted and perverted. The dead man was not ‘a little weaker than yesterday’ but in a far more fragile than was supposed. The damage was hidden as if the final day of reckoning was put off by eating the seed corn, pawning the family jewels and finally, selling the family members to buy the final meal — in a word as if everything was consumed to counterfeit the appearance of normalcy.
If there are any science fiction fans here, 50 years ago Isaac Asimov wrote insightfully in the Foundation trilogy about the slow collapse of large societies, how the signs are all around and yet no one pays them any attention, since how could a society this old and strong possibly collapse? I’m amazed by the number of people who are completely oblivious to what’s happening around them. To be fair, I’m heartened that there are some who seem fully aware.
But the former seem to outweigh the latter. More disturbingly, I’m fascinated to see there are educated, credentialed, powerful people in our federal and local governments who are more than ready to impose police state tyranny on their fellow citizens – on the plebs like us. Lois Lerner of IRS fame comes to mind. Also, General Keith Alexander, head of the NSA. Our increasingly militarized and oppressive police forces. A president who laughingly states ‘I am the law’. And finally a vast and powerful media complex that is fully complicit. They don’t seem to realize that the alligator may eat them last, but they will get eaten too. We saw the first glimmers of that with the FCC monitors idea that got run up the flagpole last week. Gives you an idea of how these people think and what their real plans are.
“ 50 years ago Isaac Asimov wrote insightfully in the Foundation trilogy…”
Way to make a body feel old!
Secession might work. Worked in 1776. Worked in 1835.
“Who’s with me?” Oh, Cassius and Brutus probably.
Here’s a principle I’ve been wondering about. Please let me know if you think this would work.
What if tens of millions of Americans and dozens of governors declared that executive orders only apply to employees of the executive branch? That only laws passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president are binding? Wouldn’t that stop a fair percentage of the crap coming from Washington?
Obviously the president can order the military around. And he gets to decide when D.C. federal employees get a snow day. He could order federal (but not state or local) buildings to fly the flag at half-mast, even for Jane Fonda or Fidel Castro, and I’m not sure how we could stop him.
But all the rule-making and rule-changing and rule-enforcing by the EPA and other federal agencies, which seem to be allowed to do stuff that Congress never passed explicitly: could states just ignore the rules until Congress actually passes them as laws?
Clarification: “That only laws passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president are binding on the rest of us“, I should have said.
I think you missed the impact of the bureaucratization of governance during the Progressive period. Legislating responsibility has been delegated to the bureaucracy which operates at the direction of the President via executive orders.
Disaster is baked into the cake already, because math.
The real question is who gets to pick up the pieces.
Option 1) The corrupt, incompetent establishment, widely loathed, incapable of achieving most of its domestic policy objectives, and hence reduced to attempting to intimidate the opposition.
Or option 2) Competent people who aren’t welded to the collapsing status quo, who are interested in something more than stuffing their pockets, and who are interested in the successful future of the actual United States in particular, not the entire planet.
I’m sure that sounds terribly naive, so I’ll elaborate.
I simply don’t understand why the present regime is regarded as so terrifying and omnipotent by so many smart people. I recall an anecdote about U.S. Grant after he took command in the East. Officers of the Army of the Potomac kept telling him about the terrible Robert E. Lee, until he finally had had enough and told them to stop worrying about what Robert E.Lee was going to do to them and to worry about what they were going to do to Robert E. Lee.
I’m sure I’m misremembering the exact words of that anecdote and I know we aren’t (yet) fighting a civil war- but for Pete’s sake stop agonizing about the defeats of the past, and start plotting the victories of tomorrow.
First, I’ve seen people state that Americans have decided that we don’t want liberty, because Barry Obama won election. I dispute this. It seems to me to be an important fact that the economy collapsed while George Bush was president.
I say again the economy collapsed. Again, this seems to me to be an important fact, yet it seems not to have registered with vast numbers of people, mostly I suspect supporters of the GOP establishment. My theory- if you were doing well under George Bush, you regarded the collapse as an unfortunate accident, and wanted those policies to continue. Perhaps you would blame the economic collapse upon Barney Frank, forgetting where the buck stopped.
Most Americans differed. That matters. As far as I could tell, the GOP took no notice that policies needed to change and made no case for how to change them.
This was repeated in 2012.
Stop- don’t tell me poor pitiful Mitt “Mittens” Romney would have had as assortment of different policies than Barry, etc. I know. Yes, I know McCain would have had picked different Supreme Court nominees than Barry, etc. I know that too.
The problem is that both failed utterly to make a case to the American people that they would be different and more successful than their failed predecessors. The one TV ad I saw from Mittens was about the debt. It could have been aired in 1980. I’ve read what I consider to be an at least plausible argument that Romney pulled his punches against Obama because he expected to win, but didn’t want to control the Senate, thus being liable to repeal Obamacare. Instead, he wanted to fix it- like many democrats.
That sort of thing is not a recipe for political success. No matter what feeling the electorate has towards liberty.
To be continued…
I haven’t missed anything. I’m asking what happens if we defy all those executive orders issued under vague grants of authority as obviously unconstitutional, and insist that we will only obey the specific rules of actual laws passed (and not just “deemed to be passed”) by Congress and signed by the President? If we can get away with ignoring stupid executive orders, wouldn’t that take care of at least half the problem? I understand that there are plenty of actual stupid laws, but it would be a start.
“Perhaps you would blame the economic collapse upon Barney Frank, forgetting where the buck stopped.”
Bush tried to rein in some of the Fannie/Freddie abuses but did not see where this was going.
I saved some of this on my own blog because I wanted to be able to find it. Not many read my blog anymore but I can find this stuff when I want to.
In the wake of Freddie’s implosion, Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida held one hearing on its accounting practices and scheduled more in early 2004.
He was soon told that not only could he hold no more hearings, but House Speaker Dennis Hastert was stripping his subcommittee of jurisdiction over Fan and Fred’s accounting and giving it to Mike Oxley’s Financial Services Committee. “It was because of all their lobbying work,” explains Mr. Stearns today, in epic understatement. Mr. Oxley proceeded to let Barney Frank (D., Mass.), then in the minority, roll all over him and protect the companies from stronger regulatory oversight. Mr. Oxley, who has since retired, was the featured guest at no fewer than 19 Fannie-sponsored fund-raisers.
Anybody heard of Sarbanes Oxley ? Hastert was a member in good standing of the Illinois “Combine.” His kids, like Harry Reid’s kids, are big real estate owners thanks to dad. Bush was up against pros at corruption.
Or consider the experience of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, one of the GOP’s bright young lights who decided in the 1990s that Fan and Fred needed more supervision. As he held town hall meetings in his district, he soon noticed a man in a well-tailored suit hanging out amid the John Deere caps and street clothes. Mr. Ryan was being stalked by a Fannie lobbyist monitoring his every word.
Who was running Fannie ? Franklin Raines.
Second, most Americans figured it was just another election, not the choice between freedom and tyranny.
If Mitt Romney wanted to make that case I suspect he would have failed, not only because he was a terrible no good politician but also because the groundwork had not been laid.
This is not the case now. Police militarization is a live issue, as is the NSA spying, and the use by the Obama regime of the instruments of government against the opposition. Any future GOP nominee will have a much easier road to travel in making a case against another democrat-led regime, courtesy of Barry and his relentless banana-republic behavior.
Third, it seems vastly significant to me that despite relentless efforts the left has been utterly unable to disarm the American people. Every massacre instead of convincing the public to turn in their guns has instead resulted in a new record of firearm sales. And in the states that have imposed new gun laws the result has been massive defiance and even recall of certain elected officials involved.
This is not a sign of strength for the would-be tyrants.
Fourth, Obamacare. National health care was long a Holy Grail for the left, which would forever cement their hold upon control of the government. I recall the celebrations when they made Obamacare into a law, and assumed it would soon be popular.
Oops. I think Obamacare is the rough equivalent of the Dredd Scott decision- that is, a last desperate attempt to maintain the status quo by writing words down on paper and assuming everyone just has to follow them because, law. It remains intensely unpopular, increasingly ignored, and completely unworkable.
Fifth, and lastly- immigration. People will not come to the United States to be poorer and less-free. It seems to me that the wealthy members of the US political class are bitterly resentful that Americans aren’t obsequiously grateful that they are paid more than the poorest inhabitants of Bangladesh or Burkina Faso, and seek to change that- even while they have endless and bottomless sympathy for every welfare recipient, of every description. My take is that the American political class is essentially globalist in orientation, and has precious little interest in the actual United States, or American notions of freedom. Merchants have no country, to quote Thomas Jefferson. They hate that they have been unable to enshrine de facto open borders into law, and keep trying. This is bitterly unpopular with the American people, despite relentless propaganda.
Meanwhile, foreigners are increasingly ditching the dollar as a reserve currency, because they have eyes, and can see the obvious.
Not so the American political class, left and republican. Pity them. They’re on the way out, and won’t last long enough to impose tyranny upon the American people, because they’re a swarm of fools operating under a basket load of idiotic assumptions.
That’s my take. Ymmv.
If only the czar knew!! Sorry, the buck still stopped with him, not Barney Frank.
I fixate on Barney Frank because I recall people at another site excusing George Bush and excoriating Barney Frank for the economic collapse I mention- but I don’t buy it.
Again, the buck stopped with George Bush.
I’m not sure how this contradicts anything I’ve said, but perhaps you didn’t intend it to.
But it just strikes me as an interesting fact that Franklin Raines stuffed his pocket to the tune of many millions of dollars, leaving the taxpayers to pick up the tab for his self-interested mismanagement.
The GOP establishment had precious little to say about that, as far as I could tell. I know I’m not supposed to conclude that the GOP establishment and its individual pocket-stuffers were also stuffing their pockets just like Franklin Raines and hence didn’t want to give the game away- but golly.
I don’t really really have too many warm feelings about the GOP establishment right now.
Maybe, just maybe, the GOP establishment could have convinced me otherwise if they’d bothered to complain about the pocket-stuffing done by Franklin Raines- a.k.a. “theft”- but I suspect an awful lot of the wealth garnered by that establishment has been garnered in roughly the same way.
Yeah, I’m cynical. And I may be completely, utterly wrong about my ugly guestimations.
But the GOP establishments doesn’t seem to care either way.
Bush at least tried to do something, and this was during a war. I think the most you can say is that he might have done more, but even then it’s not clear how much more he could have done. At least he didn’t make the problem worse, unlike Clinton. It was Bush’s bad luck that the bubble burst on his watch, but it would have burst sooner or later no matter who was president.
Fannie Mae ran a well-funded, ruthless and effective lobbying operation. Notice also the party affiliation of the people who ran Fannie Mae. It was effectively part of the Democratic Party even though the corruption it was part of was bipartisan. Its biggest supporters in Congress, such as Obama, were Democrats and this is still the case.
Why does Fannie Mae still exist? Why does the federal govt still guarantee mortgages? I don’t think Bush is involved.
My point was the Bush, while described as “the first president with a Harvard MBA” was preoccupied with a lot else. Maybe, had 9/11 not happened on his watch, he would have been able to do more to stop the MBS mania but I was not that enthusiastic about him.
Remember that the 9/11 thing was the result of years of feckless behavior by Clinton and company. “Of course we take terrorism seriously, We had meetings almost every week.” Madeline Halfbright.
I have somewhere on my blog a video clip of a Bush official testifying before Congress after the Democrats took over and being shouted down. The videos have disappeared because of “copyright violations.”
Then there is this.
In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980′s.
”From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”
That was the NY Times in 1999, before Bush.
I don’t disagree with you. The essential problem wasn’t the traders or banks or complex derivatives, it was the CRA and Fannie Mae’s resulting time-bomb loan portfolio with its reckless disregard for tail risk. The CRA incentivized banks to write mortgages to marginal or fraudulent borrowers. This was vote buying by proxy. Fannie Mae dutifully inventoried those loans and then underestimated (lied about) the risk to avoid any public accounting that might shut down the gravy train. When housing valuations declined, the default rate increased by an amount sufficient to tank the value of Fannie Mae’s loan portfolio and everyone else’s as well. In effect, Fannie Mae had been generating income by writing taxpayer-backed puts, recycling some of that income to the Democratic pols who ran the operation and some of it to members of Congress.
“Meanwhile, foreigners are increasingly ditching the dollar as a reserve currency, because they have eyes, and can see the obvious.”
Despite the occasional big splash Zero Hedge headlines now and then about Iran’s perpetual attempt to dig itself out of their hole with PetroEuros (snicker) or China dumping treasuries because they’ve lost faith in us, the dollar index is right now at the same value it was at the start of the 2008 financial crisis. Actually, over the past two years it has been locked in a historically tight range. It’s been relatively stable.
The fact of the matter is that there’s no other viable alternative and the rest of the world knows it all too well. Here’s what they’re eyes see:
Right now the budget deficit is the lowest it’s been since 2008. It has dropped over 50% in the past 5 years, the fastest drop since we started keeping track of such things in the 70s.
With government shrinking at a torrid pace, there’s every reason to believe we could see a balanced budget within the next 5 years.
By then America will also become the top producer of oil and gas, and likely exporting much of it.
Which will boost manufacturing along with all the other technological developments already documented here and elsewhere.
This is why China doesn’t want to own as many US bonds as they have in the past.
Because they will need all the cash they can get to buy all the stuff we are about to sell them.
“PenGun, you look pretty dumb when you tout Canada’s health care system.”
Nadim Esmail is about as right wing as Canadians get, The Fraser Institute is very well known in Canada as a right wing spin organization. He would like American style health care if he could get it. He can’t.
The Globe and Mail, a center right rag:
“The lowest-income Canadians (those earning less than $24,000 a year) pay 5.8 per cent of their income for health care, while those in the highest-income group (more than $72,000) pay 7.5 per cent. Of course, that does not mean that they pay equal amounts of money. The poor pay, on average, $1,020 a year, compared with $8,650 for the wealthy.”
“’Who’s with me?’ Oh, Cassius and Brutus probably.”
Good men. Killed a tyrant.
Lexington Green, I have passed through disappointment, fear, and then despair as I have become aware of the course that our civilization is on, and the inevitability of great change. And so, I started “prepping”, for the end of the world as we now know it.
I agree that socialism, “the Fatal Conceit”, has always failed and will always fail when attempted in groups larger than those in it’s tribal origins.
But, I think that the proximate cause of tectonic societal change will stem more from the nature of the “special Interest State” which has passed through the critical mass beyond which it cannot be checked or reformed.
But, to answer your question, I have begun to feel a sense of anticipation. I am looking forward to participating in the construction of the next big thing.
When those that are willfully ignoring what is happening, are forced by circumstances to confront reality, they will be looking for answers and direction.
The ability to clearly and concisely articulate a vision for the future that offers hope will be sorely needed if we are to avoid being added as another chapter to Crane Brinton’s classic The Anatomy of Revolution.
The current political class and others in positions of influence and authority will be blamed for the troubles. They will have no more credibility. This will be the tipping point, When many of us, will need to step out from the bleachers and lead.
And, in that time, there will be nothing of greater value than a person’s character. We will not be heard unless we are “George Washington”, persons of integrity, honor, and truth, with a vision of what a better future looks like.
And so, I have started “prepping” for the beginning of the world as we will then know it.
Point taken, but the bottom line is that Bush failed, and people noticed.
That’s what my eyes see.
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