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  • Government is Failing. At Everything.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on July 1st, 2016 (All posts by )

    Today, Daniel Henninger has a pretty good column on Brexit.

    The Wall Street Journal is not exactly on board with the “Leave” vote or certainly with Trump but this is pretty good.

    The vote by the people of the United Kingdom to separate from the European Union was actually Brexit the Sequel. The first Brexit vote took place 35 years ago in the United States, with the election of Ronald Reagan, who carried 44 states.

    Reagan, in his first inaugural address in 1981, could not have been more explicit about what his election stood for: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

    Brexit is shorthand for “government is the problem.”

    Liberal intellectuals have mocked Reagan for reducing his theory of government to a bumper sticker. But he elaborated on the idea with words that would have fit in the Founders’ debates:

    “We have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?”

    Reagan is being misrepresented by a lot of Republicans these days. They don’t remember what a radical he was in GOP eyes back in 1976. I do.

    Why even George Will thought he was too radical in 1976.

    In a November 12, 1974 column appearing in the Washington Post on a potential 1976 challenge by Reagan to incumbent Establishment GOP President Gerald Ford, (titled “Ronald Reagan, the GOP and ’76”), Will wrote of Reagan: “But Reagan is 63 and looks it. His hair is still remarkably free of gray. But around the mouth and neck he looks like an old man. He’s never demonstrated substantial national appeal, his hard core support today consists primarily of the kamikaze conservatives who thought the 1964 Goldwater campaign was jolly fun. And there’s a reason to doubt that Reagan is well suited to appeal to the electorate that just produced a Democratic landslide. If a Reagan third party would just lead the ‘Nixon was lynched’ crowd away from the Republican Party and into outer darkness where there is a wailing and gnashing of teeth, it might be at worst a mixed course for the Republican Party. It would cost the party some support, but it would make the party seem cleansed.”

    Will certainly has a way with words. The Administrative State has come to the end of its usefulness, if it ever had any.

    Richard Fernandez, as usual, has something useful to say.

    Basically, the Benghazi consulate was overrun because the administration had established an embassy beyond the wire and outside the artillery fan. They had deceived themselves into thinking it was tenable. They entrusted its defense to unreliable militias. When it was attacked, they had no forces within practical range of relief. To explain the resulting disaster, they peddled a fairy tale which even they did not believe. It was all wishful thinking from beginning to end and beyond. We are now in that beyond.

    The Administrative State may be incompetent but it has good PR.

    Benghazi was a foreseeable disaster they failed to prevent. And in the aftermath it was a catastrophe whose lessons they were determined to ignore. In summary, the report depicts an administration that was not so much malignant as completely incompetent. The Obama never saw what hit them in Benghazi, had no comeback when it did, and denied they were sucker punched even as they picked themselves up from the floor.

    The true story of Benghazi is in many ways more disturbing than the wildest conspiracy theories can be.

    Meanwhile, Bangladesh, a Muslim state, is exploding.

    Armed attackers are holding as many as 20 hostages at a cafe in a diplomatic zone of Bangladesh’s capital. A gunbattle with police left at least two senior police officers dead and 40 people were injured.

    ISIS claimed responsibility, according to Amaq News Agency, an ISIS media branch.
    As police exchanged fire with the gunmen, the attackers threw explosives at officers, a source at the scene said.
    Here’s the latest:
    • Gunmen are holding the hostages at Holey Artisan Bakery, a cafe popular with expats, cafe owner Sumon Reza told CNN. Reza said he managed to escape as six to eight gunmen entered the cafe. About 20 people, some of them foreigners, were in the restaurant, he said.
    • A police officer in charge of a nearby station was shot dead, Maruf Hasan of Dhaka Metropolitan Police said. A second officer later died from gunshot wounds, Detective Police Deputy Commissioner Sheikh Nazmul Alam tells CNN.

    The attack is in an area frequented by foreigners. Bangladesh has had a rising tide of violence for over a year. The rising tide is directed agaunst foreigners and locals who are secular.

    Over the past year, Bangladesh – an overwhelmingly Muslim country of 150 million people – has seen growing violence against both foreigners and locals deemed to be enemies of extremist Islam: secular bloggers, outspoken critics of fundamentalism, members of religious minorities such as Hindus and Christians, police officers and others.

    Until now, the violence has taken the form of largely low-tech attacks involving small groups of militants or even individuals armed with knives or small arms.

    Friday’s attack, however, was an operation of a much greater magnitude. Early reports suggest at least five gunmen, armed with sufficient automatic weapons and grenades to repel at least one assault by local police.

    Western intelligence have been nervous about a major operation for at least 18 months. Indications of a complex plan to attack a diplomatic ball last year prompted much alarm – and pressure from western capitals on Dhaka to move effectively against the militant networks existing in the unstable south Asian nation.

    Such attacks are likely here if the ISIS recruiters can get enough US residents to organize. In the meantime, Obama moves to imitate Brussels.

    The Obama presidency has been an American version of the European Commission from which the Brits fled. Except that U.S. courts still review, rather than rubber-stamp, the Obama Commission’s executive orders ranging across labor, the environment, the internet, financial institutions and universities.

    Had U.S. courts not pushed back against many of the Obama government’s rules and “guidance” directives, the famous “pen-and-phone” authority, this presidency would have come close to putting the states in the same relation to Washington as that between the once-sovereign states of Europe and Brussels.

    The US military, our only real bulwark against militant Islam, is being pressed to allow open transgender personnel.

    The Pentagon’s decades-old policy considers transgender people to be sexual deviants, allowing the military to discharge them. The services — and later, Carter — decided last year to move that discharge authority to higher levels in the military, making it more difficult to force out transgender people. The lack of a new policy, however, continues to create complicated situations for transgender service members and their commanders.

    In one case, Army Sgt. Shane Ortega, a transgender man, was required last summer to go to a uniform shop where he was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii with a senior enlisted soldier to obtain a female dress uniform in order to meet Army officials at the Pentagon to discuss transgender policy concerns, according to Ortega and Army officials.

    Ortega said the incident showed “a real lack of leadership and a lack of human compassion” and demonstrated the level of discrimination and ignorance in the military about transgender people is huge.

    The article alleges there are 12,500 transgender people in the military, an astonishing claim as transgender is about 0.0001% of the US population.

    And the clock is running on when the next Muslim attack on US soil will occur.

     

    16 Responses to “Government is Failing. At Everything.”

    1. veryretired Says:

      This latest transgender kerfluffle is another tempest in a teapot, or furor in a wc, as the case may be, while the real catastrophe that the progressive idealogues in the current regime have inflicted on our military structure will go unremarked and unreported by the lapdog media.

      There are few combat ready units across the spectrum of the military forces, whether navy, army or air forces. The command structure has been decimated by a program of rewarding political correctness over military skills. The rank and file have been gutted by constant reductions, and forced to endure one PC campaign after another, as the very concept of national defense as a legitimate strategy has been abandoned in favor of social engineering and pc multi-culturalism.

      It is utterly fascinating to watch this train wreck occur in seeming slow motion, while the national “conversation” jumps from one meaningless triviality to another, one manufactured crisis to another, as the self-appointed ruling coalition trips over themselves to condemn and libel any rising opposition with every calumny in the progressive lexicon.

      I will repeat what I have said many times—the ruling elites don’t have any idea how to competently manage this country, the world situation, or any significant facet of the myriad looming problems that they, in their incompetence and corruption, have largely caused to develop.

      This nation, and the rest of the world, are facing an economic abyss as the bankrupt blue social model enters its final stages, as well as a global military situation every bit as volatile as the 1930’s.

      I don’t believe the current regime is incompetent in the usual sense, as these conditions, aggravated by weakness in the US and the west, are pretty much what they wanted to bring about. But their utterly naive and ideological view of the world has never understood the ferocious danger these very policies would bring about, as they have always, and in every case, been firm in their belief that it was the US, and western civilization, that was the negative factor in the world, and that other cultures were, in fact, superior to our own in most ways.

      The world we see now, with regional flash-points all over the globe, and an utterly lunatic international theocracy attempting to kill anyone outside their asylum, and intimidate every one they can frighten into submitting to their excesses, is the only possible result of the deluded ignorance of the ruling elites who have commandeered western civilization to act out their ideological fantasies in the real world.

      They, along with the rest of us who have been dragged along to the edge of the precipice, are about to experience reality’s response to foolishness and incompetence, both in theory and in practice.

      I doubt any of the celebrity cultural leaders who have risen to the top of the swirling cesspool that is our current culture condition will be able to understand, or properly respond to, the coming whirlwind.

      The old axiom is, “those who sow the wind, will reap the whirlwind”.

      Get ready. The wall clouds are on the horizon, and the funnels are already descending.

    2. Mike K Says:

      For the opinion of an experienced diplomat who has served in Muslim countries, this is a good summary.

    3. James the lesser Says:

      They don’t fail at quite _everything_:

      POTHINUS (bitterly). Is it possible that Caesar, the conqueror of
      the world, has time to occupy himself with such a trifle as our
      taxes?

      CAESAR. My friend: taxes are the chief business of a conqueror of
      the world.

    4. Will Says:

      Failure is the intended consequence as far as I can tell. Look at the post below regarding Amtrak. A regularly occurring three hour delay for a four hour trip? Seriously? It’s been that way for forty years. As for the present regime being naive, I’d say that’s mighty generous. The fifth column show their hand regularly, they want you to know they’re f*cking you.

    5. veryretired Says:

      I just read an interesting article I linked through Instapundit that makes the case that the educational system is not a failure at all, if one accepts the idea that it is indoctrination along certain very narrow lines that is the true objective, not a broad, classical liberal education.

      This assertion makes a certain amount of sense, as it seems impossible that so many areas of common western intellectual and ethical heritage could be so totally
      discarded unless it was a conscious effort to “de-culturize” the youth of our society.

      It is manifestly clear that the driving force behind much of progressive ideology is a profound, visceral hatred for most of western culture, especially traditional religious beliefs and free market economics.

      A survey of progressive writings in its developing stages shows repeated calls for the dismantling of the basic features of western culture and social practice, which is the common refrain in almost all of the subsequent “reform” movements, which attempt to hide behind various issues, but invariably end up calling for the fundamental restructuring and transformation of western society into something else.

      Is it any surprise that the something else also invariably turns out to be an elite ruled super-state, with broad powers, and controls over most every element of the subjects’ lives?

      The progressive project is a drive to power which requires compliant, uninformed subjects who will acquiesce to an endless series of intrusions into their lives for the “public good”.

      The result is the chaotic mess we are in today, which is more a replay of China’s Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s, also called the “lost generation”, than the more free spirited counter-culture of our 60’s, which, for all it’s faults, was at least suspicious and hostile towards the control by the state over many aspects of people’s lives.

      We are facing an inevitable confrontation between those who believe they can create a peaceful Miranda, and those of us who rightly fear the creation of an entire culture of Reavers as a result.

    6. Mike K Says:

      “a conscious effort to “de-culturize” the youth of our society.”

      This is the topic of an excellent post by Richard Fernandez.

      The West is filled with millions of people like Alex, all of them waiting for Someone. They are the product of a multi-decade campaign to deliberately empty people of their culture; to actually make them ashamed of it. They were purposely drained of God, country, family like chickens so they could be stuffed with the latest narrative of the progressive meme machine. The Gramscian idea was to produce a blank slate upon which the Marxist narrative could be written.

      He makes another point.

      Too bad for the Gramscians that the Islamists are beating them to the empty sheets of paper. And they are better at it too. Maybe the old Bolsheviks could have given ISIS a run for its money, but today’s liberals have declined from their sires. George Orwell observed the takeover of hardcore Bolshevism by the periphery in the 1930s.

      The first thing that must strike any outside observer is that Socialism, in its developed form is a theory confined entirely to the middle classes. The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years’ time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism; or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting.

      Or a college professor in a non-STEM department.

    7. Exasperated Says:

      IF THERE IS A SINGLE STUMBLING BLOCK ON THE ROAD TO THE FUTURE, IT IS THE BUREAUCRACY AS WE KNOW IT. ( borrowed, don’t know who to credit with this quote, maybe Edward Hall)
      “By their very nature bureaucracies have no conscience, no memory and no mind. They are self-serving, amoral and live forever.(Hall)
      You need only to look at Olson’s paradox; the rentiers and special interests continually pile on the government and they do so in tandem with bureaucrats (supported by media, academia, consultants, and pols) and who also seek to expand their turf and power. It is the nature of the beast. There is also, of course, always the underlying problem of racketeering. “Bureaucracy on the life-destroying scale described by Edward T. Hall is an industrial era phenomenon.

      I think Edward Hall was a hero to the Progs, at one time?

      I’m blown away that there are still enough Makers left to resist the Takers at the Top.

    8. TMLutas Says:

      Show your work. That’s the failure of the right, the left, and the “pragmatic” middle. The information age is at hand. We’re using the technology but doing it badly. There is zero reason not to expect that for every item that government does, it lays out the goal, what is the criteria for success/failure, and what is the current value that internally government is already using to gauge whether things are going well. In this particular case, there is no transgender issue per se in the military. There is a broader principle at stake, the gut level trust that command is not making decisions based on sexual favorites that will change which soldiers go home wounded or dead. Exactly zero people will go out in public and say that sexual favoritism should be a factor in the composition of the casualty lists. This is a consensus item. But we have not built up the educational resources to teach people why that is a continual problem that must be addressed, and there is no general understanding of how that sort of thing plays out in all its variations, including the admission of transgender troops. So consensus breaks down because the vast majority of us are not sufficiently educated (and I put myself in this category too) to render fully competent judgments on the issue.

      It doesn’t have to be a dialogue of the deaf and blind. Educated people do exist out there. They need to have their voices heard and preferred. The frame in which this discussion is had needs to be civilian friendly so that we can oversee government and properly judge, and military friendly so that the actual policy gives a bunch of 18 year olds at the tip of the spear confidence that command has their back from the corporal in the neighboring fire position all the way up to the President of the United States.

      Lather, rinse, and repeat for every thing that any government does. That’s the task at hand. We are likely, at this point, to have a collapse in the west. In fact, we’ve already had a few (Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Detroit, Flint). The more things that we fix before collapse, the shorter the collapse, the less severe, the less damage, and the quicker the recovery. Let’s get to work at damage mitigation because that’s all we’ve realistically got as an option at this point. Victory is possible. The prepayment of postal employee pensions is one such quiet victory. There are many others. Let’s make more.

    9. IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses" Says:

      Liberal intellectuals have mocked Reagan for reducing his theory of government to a bumper sticker.

      BWAAAAAhahahahahhahaaaaa…. as though you couldn’t recognize a liberal at a 99% success rate by the excessive number of bumper stickers on their car!!

      Their entire CREDO is readily reduced to bumper stickers.

    10. Renminbi Says:

      The basic premise for “Liberal Democracy” is that if you vote for those holding public office, they will represent you. This premise does not accord with our experience today. And why should it? People have to get on with their own lives , but even without that, it would not possible for one to have more than a very bare outline of what is being done in our name by those acting as, and betraying their role, as our agents. As it stands with today’s polities I think the end point is something like that of Venezuela or Argentina.

      If you want to control the cancer we have allowed to metastasize I would suggest allowing special courts
      for suits against Gov’t agents and agencies on behalf of the people. Successful suits would block or impound appropriations ,fully , or in part, to be returned to the treasury. The jurors would be makers and not takers- in other words people who are jealous of their rights as proper citizens. And those bringing the case would be paid for their efforts.
      Anyone have a better idea?

    11. Mike K Says:

      “Anyone have a better idea?”

      Guillotines and lampposts.

    12. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Metaphorical or actual humiliation, in which pine tar, feathers, public shaming and shunning are variously involved.

    13. Mike K Says:

      “pine tar, feathers, public shaming and shunning are variously involved.”

      THEN the Guillotine.

    14. veryretired Says:

      No, if you follow the violence of the French Revolution, then you will also have the Terror and eventual despotism that destroyed it.

      There are no quick and easy solutions. Recovering from a century of progressive/collectivist propaganda and excess will require a century of hard, grueling work to dismantle the monstrosity they have created, and fully restore the individual to his or her ordained primacy under the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

      Personally, I favor requiring an oath of allegience to the Constitution from every citizen under pain of a charge of perjury, and subsequent expulsion from this nation, if they betray it by either advocacy or action in opposition to it.

      We have put up with the subversion of fifth columnists for far too long. Any nation that allows an Ayers or other radical who has demonstrated by both word and deed his absolute intention of destroying the Constitution by any means necessary to remain, and even be treated as a legitimate citizen, is inviting internal rot and betrayal.

      It isn’t some ragtag group of despots and savages that actually threaten us, but the smooth talking sharks that circle every protection the rule of law and the Constitution provides, waiting for a moment of weakness so they can swoop in and take a bite.

      We need the inner strength and conviction to prevent those weaknesses, and expel the sharks to some other place to prowl, perhaps those “superior” cultures that they constantly praise as they denigrate ours.

      Violence may occur, but it must be incidental, not a primary instrument, to the cultural cleansing that is needed.

      It is clarity of mind that is required, to temper the heat of the blood, and calm the vengeful heart.

      If our opponents raise the sword, then let them die by it. I will live with the rule of law, and the rights as described in the most revolutionary document in all of human history—the Constitution of the United States.

      Happy Fourth!

    15. TMLutas Says:

      Renminbi – You are incorrect that “it would not possible for one to have more than a very bare outline of what is being done in our name by those acting as, and betraying their role, as our agents.” In fact, an entire software sector has been invented devoted to disproving that statement. It is called business intelligence. For virtually every government out there, creating a BI deployment to properly manage it is a task whose complexity has already been exceeded by existing BI deployments in multi-national corporations. In other words, not only can we manage these governments properly, we have proven technology that can do so. There are open source versions of this software which would enable us to invert the usual BI structure where a few C level executives have BI drill down dashboards constructed to give them actionable intelligence. In this situation, the “C level executive” is the involved american who cares to spend five minutes a day reviewing government oversight.

    16. MSimon Says:

      Recovering from a century of progressive/collectivist propaganda and excess will require a century of hard, grueling work to dismantle the monstrosity they have created, and fully restore the individual to his or her ordained primacy under the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

      Do not expect any help from the right in that regard. They are the main supporters these days of a Progressive program. Drug Prohibition.

      “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

      “[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks” Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, “The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”

      Nixon found the perfect vehicle for a race war (he must have been a student of Harry J. Anslinger). And every President since Nixon has supported it.

      As to the “Constitutionalists” on the right? I ask constantly about the missing Drug Prohibition Amendment. They never have an answer.

      The Republic is long dead an I see little hope in reviving it. Very few want it restored. Certainly not enough to matter.