Things Fall Apart; the Centre Cannot Hold: 1968 Redux

WTH is going on in the world these days? One is tempted to quote Yeats and turn away in disgust.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Well, that may be a wise quote for us, at that. It was written in 1919 just after the world-shaking carnage of the Great War when seemingly all was in flux. Victor Davis Hanson in The Washington Times this week compared our time to 1968, another year that shook the world.

Almost a half-century ago, in 1968, the United States seemed to be falling apart.

The Vietnam War, a bitter and close presidential election, anti-war protests, racial riots, political assassinations, terrorism and a recession looming on the horizon left the country divided between a loud radical minority and a silent conservative majority.

The United States avoided a civil war. But America suffered a collective psychological depression, civil unrest, defeat in Vietnam and assorted disasters for the next decade — until the election of a once-polarizing Ronald Reagan ushered in five consecutive presidential terms of relative bipartisan calm and prosperity from 1981 to 2001.

It appears as if 2017 might be another 1968. Recent traumatic hurricanes seem to reflect the country’s human turmoil.

After the polarizing Obama presidency and the contested election of Donald Trump, the country is once again split in two.

But this time the divide is far deeper, both ideologically and geographically — with the two liberal coasts pitted against red-state America in between.

[…]

The smears “racist,” “fascist,” “white privilege” and “Nazi” — like “commie” of the 1950s — are so overused as to become meaningless. There is now less free speech on campus than during the McCarthy era of the early 1950s.

No news in any of that is there? It’s simply our daily diet.

As was the case in 1968, the world abroad is also falling apart.

The European Union, model of the future, is unraveling. The EU has been paralyzed by the exit of Great Britain, the divide between Spain and Catalonia, the bankruptcy of Mediterranean nation members, insidious terrorist attacks in major European cities and the onslaught of millions of immigrants — mostly young, male and Muslim — from the war-torn Middle East. Germany is once again becoming imperious, but this time insidiously by means other than arms.

[…]

If we remember in 1968 the UK was starting to slip into that malaise that became known as ‘The British Disease’ and the cure didn’t come until Maggie Thatcher took charge just before Ronald Reagan cured the Carter malaise.

And we watch as Mrs May turns the UK’s best chance since Mrs Thatcher to again become a wealthy country, thanks to the voters who voted for Brexit, changes her title to Prime Ditherer, as she proves a less capable leader than -Barack Obama, perhaps. Sad to see. There are plenty of people in Britain who know how to win in these circumstances, but like our own GOPe the Conservatives hide in their bubble, out of fear of the people, or change, or Political Correctness, or something, and so fumble their chance, and are likely to ruin the country by turning it over to Corbyn. Taking the title of Venezuela North from Chicago in the process.

Is the problem too much democracy, as the volatile and fickle mob runs roughshod over establishment experts and experienced bureaucrats? Or is the crisis too little democracy, as populists strive to dethrone a scandal-plagued, anti-democratic, incompetent and overrated entrenched elite?

Neither traditional political party has any answers.

Democrats are being overwhelmed by the identity politics and socialism of progressives. Republicans are torn asunder between upstart populist nationalists and the calcified establishment status quo.

And again showing the wisdom of the founders, we now see Steve Bannon gearing up to challenge every GOP Congresscritter (save Ted Cruz) in next years Republican primaries. He won’t win them all, I predict. But I also predict he’ll win enough to put the fear of the electorate back into the Republicans. Of course, if they were as smart as they think they are, 2016 would have done that.

Yet for all the social instability and media hysteria, life in the United States quietly seems to be getting better.

The economy is growing. Unemployment and inflation remain low. The stock market and middle-class incomes are up.

Business and consumer confidence are high. Corporate profits are up. Energy production has expanded. The border with Mexico is being enforced.

Is the instability less a symptom that America is falling apart and more a sign that the loud conventional wisdom of the past — about the benefits of a globalized economy, the insignificance of national borders and the importance of identity politics — is drawing to a close, along with the careers of those who profited from it?

In the past, any crisis that did not destroy the United States ended up making it stronger. But for now, the fight grows over which is more toxic — the chronic statist malady that was eating away the country, or the new populist medicine deemed necessary to cure it.

• Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

And that is true too. The United States is actually doing pretty well, these days, which may well be why our left seems increasingly detached from reality, just like the NFL players biting the hand that feeds them. All gravy trains end, and so does extended adolescence.

No guarantees here but it looks to me if we keep on keepin’ on the way we are going, we may well make the United States stronger still. And if the UK can find their spine (a stiff upper lip wouldn’t hurt either) they may come through with the Union Jack flying proudly, as well. After all, we are the people who invented the modern world, we just need to do a bit of remodelling.

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Liberty Trail: A Resource

English: Norton Covert The Liberty Trail rises...

English: Norton Covert The Liberty Trail rises steeply up through Norton Covert. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to pass this along to you all because, well, because here and at many of our sites we are well off in the weeds, we tend to presume a knowledge of history and politics that many don’t have. I suspect many of the folks that wander in looking for information read a bit and go-what on earth is he talking about?

References to Henry II, and Burke, and Franklin, and Coolidge, and all. I just want to know what the darned government is doing to me NOW. Kathy does a great job of explaining it for them. We were all there sometime, last year, or last decade, or when we were kids; we all started sometime, and I’ll bet it was because somebody took the time to explain it to us.

Kathy does that, send them to her, or they’ll go back to sleep. I’ve tried to do it, and I wander off into the weeds all over again. Jess does it better here than I ever do but, she too assumes a certain level of knowledge. Liberty Trail doesn’t. It’s a valuable reference for us all

When I started writing this blog, my stated purpose was to reach out to a large sub-set of the group we have come to refer to (lovingly) as Low Information Voters.  These are Americans who realized a long time ago that their elected leaders were lying to them, the people who work for those leaders were lying to them and the media was lying to them.

These LIVs are good, decent people who love America and used to believe in the promise it offered to all of us.  But they have families to care for and bills to pay.  They have lives to live.  They don’t have the time or desire to watch every move made by every crooked politician.  Ask them what they think of the people running the country and most will tell you they are dirty, rotten scoundrels.

DirtyRottenScoundrels

They certainly got that part right, didn’t they?

I talked to one of these people over the weekend – a dear friend who is not afraid to admit she falls into this group.  She told me that years ago she became so disenchanted with the lies and deceit that she simply tuned out.  She said it was just so hard to figure out who was representing her best interest and not their own.

Now, she says there are times when she would like to jump back in, but she feels that she’s so far behind that she doesn’t know how to catch up and where to turn for some truth.  And I don’t think she’s alone.  I think there are millions of Americans just like her.  I also believe that this is part of the grand plan – make it too difficult for the average citizen to follow their government and they will eventually give up.

Continue reading Changes At Liberty Trail.

This is where I send busy LIVs, you should too.

Haircuts, Censorship, Europe,and You

imageThe world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

William Wordsworth, The World is Too Much With Us, 1807

I borrowed this from Oobie‘s post today which we will get to in due time, as usual it’s excellent but first a couple of things going on in Europe which we would be wise to take note of.

First, Steven Hayward writing in the Power Line Blog on the Cyprian Haircut.

This semester I taught Xenophon’s neglected treatise The Education of Cyrus, which many observers have compared to Machiavelli’s Prince.  Seems now we could use a modern-day financial Xenophon to update it as The Education of Cyprus, where, according to news out within the hour, there is going to be a four-day “bank holiday” to prevent a total run.  We keep being reassured that this is a one-off event; that surely no other government would take this step against its citizens’ bank deposits.  Besides, the Cypriot Haircut is really just going after Russian oligarchs, who are even less worthy of respect than the guilty 1 percenters of Mitt Romney’s America.  (By the way, I second Roger Kimball’s question: just why, exactly, do we persist in calling Russian gangsters “oligarchs”?  “Oily-garchs,” maybe. . .)

Surely our government would never imitate the Europeans in such a Machiavellian maneuver?  Hmmm.  A few weeks back I wondered why the Left hasn’t (yet) called for a straight-up wealth tax to capture some of the value of the immense fortunes (Buffett, Gates, Googlepeeps, Facebookies, etc) that have accumulated largely tax-free over the last generation.

Actually there have been persistent rumors for a while now that “Progressives” are casting a greedy eye toward 401K assets.  Byron York reported on this last fall:

Continue reading MODERN DAY XENOPHON WANTED: THE EDUCATION OF CYPRUS?

And then there is this from Roger Pearse.

I note that this is not a political website, Roger does a huge amount to make documentation from antiquity available to us all on the web, and for that very reason I take his warning quite seriously. I haven’t seen this anywhere else but, if I were a British blogger, I would be checking quickly. If it does nothing else, it ought to make Americans thank God that our founders wrote the Constitution, and made it the supreme law of the land.

It’s mildly unbelievable, but apparently it’s true.

The new regulation will cover “websites containing news-related material” apparently.  That means not only ones such as this, but the one run by your local parish council too.  And the one written by just about anyone with a blog.

We now live in a world in which millions of people publish things each day.  Yet the system of regulation being proposed seems a throwback to a time when only a few newspaper editors wrote “news-related material”.  What is your twitter feed, if not a stream of “news-related material”?

I grew up in a central African country run by various dictators who controlled the newspapers.  Perhaps that is why I find the idea of state regulation of the press in Britain so shocking.

A big part of me thinks that this is a disaster in the making.  A small part of me hopes these proposals go through so we can see the utter balls up that follows.

The measure is being called “regulation”.  Unfortunately it seems unlikely to be anything but censorship.

I do not see how it can avoid meaning that a committee of establishment types will censor the media to prevent the expression of any opinions that they object to.  Furthermore the honest reporting of any news that they do not wish reported honestly will be prevented.  This may surprise; but I remember how the mention that criminals were black, or Romanian, or whatever — and very frequently the culprits were immigrants — was banned, on the grounds that it was “inflammatory”.  So we must expect this same approach to become endemic.  Members of favoured groups who commit crimes will not be associated with that group; members of unfavoured groups, such as Catholics, will be used to smear the group in question.  Indeed this happens quite a lot already.  But now the websites that do report the facts will be shut down.

Continue reading Press and web censorship to be introduced in Britain

Of course, it won’t work, the things Oobie is talking about below mean that it can’t. Remember Tiananmen Square? As early as that in the PRC, the revolt was run by fax and e-mail from mobile locations, censorship no longer works, unless you want to have a hermit kingdom like North Korea. But this could hurt Britain considerably, and there could easily be many individual victims. So it’s a very sad commentary on a government out of control.

Then there is Oobie’s article today.

England’s Poet Laureate wrote his famous sonnet lamenting the state of his nation in 1807, in particular its growing materialism and the loss of something more valuable than all the world’s gold, something intangible, its soul.

When Wordsworth wrote his mournful and angry words, the wheel of the Industrial Revolution was just beginning its long slow turns, bringing changes both good and bad. I would venture that Wordsworth reacted strongly to the price of progress precisely because the changes were still so few and so visible and it was possible to make the connection between what was gained and what was lost. Today it is not a wheel, but a grindstone of technological innovation turning faster than the human mind can grasp and crushing our society beneath its relentless weight. But the changes it brings are so many and so varied that we find it impossible to see the bigger picture. We know what we gain, but can barely begin to assimilate all that we are losing in exchange for our daily miracles. And yet, if we cannot chronicle precisely this process, we can feel the cumulative result. We can feel that things are precariously off-center and sense a gaping emptiness under all the power and glitter and technical wizardry.

There are of course, excellent things that our modern technology brings to us, but for every good there is an evil. The development of life-extending devices and medications gives to us much longer life-spans than those living a century ago.

Continue reading The World is Too Much With Us

It soon will again be a time, I judge, for individuals to survive and thrive individually, and Oobie sums up this article as well as her own with the words:

And so today we can truly say that the world is too much with us. We cannot escape it. Is there a defense? I suppose there is one, and that is to turn the technology to our own purposes. Let us try to use whatever technological means available to proselytize our own concepts and to defend against the ideas that harm us and our future generations.

If the world is too much with us, let us try to turn the tables and be too much with the world.

 

 

Forty More Years | And A Victory

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We start today the second term of the Regime, whatever we think, that’s what America, perhaps aided a bit by vote fraud, decided. I suspect we’ll muddle through, as long as we pay attention. The country would be far better off if we were inaugurating Mitt Romney but, it is what it is.

The thing is folks, Obama just found out last week, that he can’t do anything he wants. If you look closely, he suffered a pretty good defeat on gun control. His executive orders, while certainly pernicious, were far from as bad as I expected. Why? He blinked. He looked around and saw a plurality of Americans ready to say no, with their lives.

The 2d Amendment came to life, in its most basic form. When even the NRA openly acknowledges that the amendment isn’t about hunting but tyranny, and most of the right in America goes to condition one and serious people start writing about Armegeddon…. Well, he decided that whatever he said, he didn’t want to go there, for now anyway. We all like the Marines and their motto Semper Fidelis but for the next four years the Coast Guards’ Semper Paratus (Always Prepared) is critical.

I mean, well you tell me, an executive order to appoint a new head of ATF. Well, I’m surely glad the president has an order from the president to do the president’s job. It was window dressing. What few real proposals it contained there will not pass, as they shouldn’t, it looked good for the press and the left (yes, redundant).

That doesn’t mean he’s not going to hurt the country in the next four years, he is. 2014 and 2016 are very important, and we need something other than the same old, same old. We need people who can recognize the truth and are not afraid of it. Most of all we need people who are not career politicians.

I told you last week how much I love Ooobie on Everything, here’s her take on what the next four years are going to be like. I was going to write it but why, when I think the same and she wrote it better than I could. Here’s Ooobie

 

coronation1

Soon half of the United States crowns its new Emperor, naked though he might appear to the other half of the country. As this psychotically narcissistic man with his alien philosophy takes what used to be a sacred oath and mocks it, we hold no illusions about the struggle that is coming. Freedom may still be our byword, but it isn’t that of Mr. President, who is not even bothering to pretend anymore. He still lies about almost everything, but he isn’t pretending about who he is or where he wants to take us.  Anybody in America who does not now see his true face is a fool.

A few predictions of coming events that no doubt coincide exactly with those of a million other bloggers, but God bless each and every one of you.  I think that Obama and his henchmen in the next four years will try the following, among many other nefarious actions as yet undreamt of:

Create an Apparat and hire all the little apparatchiki: This is the famous “let’s just use that campaign structure to flatten any opposition to our will” strategy that is already underway. In the next four years, we will see the institutionalizing of the Obama campaign machine as a permanent State and Party apparatus, with presence all the way down to the city blocks. The machine will expand to cover the entire country, even your red neighborhoods where the schools (see education) will be turning out left-wing machine cogs by the thousands.  Reinforcing the machine will require hiring lots and lots of the “little people” who are so dependent on the State (and Party). These committees will agitate for Obama edicts and exert pressure (also known as intimidation) on the non-conformists. They will be the Mafia of the modern age.

Pull together a Party army under the guise of something else: We will see a re-surfacing of Obama’s dream of starting his own personal army with something that might be like the Civilian Conservation Corps — little earth-colored Brown Shirts, maybe with Green Berets, who have to learn to shoot to keep the bears away, not to mention the snakes.

Continue reading Forty More Years | Ooobie on Everything.

Off we Go.

Strürmabteilung

Michigan State Capitol, interior, a couple of ...

Michigan State Capitol, interior, a couple of mural paintings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Strürmabteilung, it’s an ugly word, isn’t it. One you would never think would apply in the United States. If you thought that, you would be wrong. It’s German, of course, and comes from the 1920s. What it refers to is the Nazi party‘s storm troopers: the SA, the brownshirts. That’s what the unions in this country have devolved into, the Democratic Party’s brownshirts (I won’t even try for purpleshirts in German).

My friend Gilia, over at The Hump Day Report, does a great job in recounting what happened to Steven Crowder this week. She’s got lots more and a plethora of links as well. Here she is:

ALOHA, ALL!!  By now you’ve heard about the violence in Michigan because they passed right-to-work laws there.  Imagine…giving people the freedom to NOT have to join/contribute to a union incites violence??  The unions are trying to portray themselves as perpetual victims, harking back to the days of slave wages and unhealthy working conditions.  Bob Beckel on “The Five” just ranted about how the violence is justified for that very reason – because of past injustices.  Give me a break.  So once a victim always a victim?  Couldn’t everyone be considered a victim today?  Frankly, I am permanently mentally distressed because of four more years of Obama.  I don’t think I can work anymore.  I’m shrugging.  Here’s a great article sent to me by HDR reader Steve about how the victim mentality is being perpetuated.  You’ll find the perpetuators interesting, but likely not surprising:  New Psychiatry Manual Adds To The Oversupply Of Invented Victims

Thugs losing.Michigan Right to Work Hitting Union Stronghold  ”Regardless of news reports, the people of Michigan are behind this. A recent poll showed that 51 percent of Michigan voters support right-to-work. Only 41 percent are opposed. In fact, 40 percent of union households supported it. In November, Michigan voters rejected a ballot proposal that would have amended the state constitution to prevent the legislature from passing a right-to-work law and elevated union contracts above state law.”

MUST WATCH!  Steven Crowder assaulted by union thugs…who claim they are victims (see story below about the tent torn down by these neanderthals.  I hope Crowder sues their fat cat a$$es!)

Here, from Watchdog. org is some footage from inside the tent.

What role do unions play that is worthwhile, let’s see they killed the American steel industry in the seventies, they killed the American Automotive industry in the last decade. They’re the people you employ if you want shoddy work done in twice the time and at three times the cost. Where is their value again?

One of my favorite bloggers, Cassandra over at  Villainous Company had something to say about right-to-work laws which I find very insightful.

In Which We Agree With Obama

We’ve got to hand it to him: when he’s right, he’s right:

Right-to-work laws are “giving you the right to work for less money,” Obama said in his speech at the Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant.

Damned straight. That is precisely what right to work laws guarantee: that I get to decide when the pay offered to me by a prospective employer is acceptable…to me.

If I’m a single mother who is about to be evicted and a low paying job will keep me and my children from being thrown out on the streets, I should be “allowed” to accept that job and that wage. I shouldn’t be forced to hold out for more money if less money now is what I really need.

Right to work laws are about giving workers control over their own lives. They’re about freedom of choice.

Continue reading In Which We Agree With Obama

As far as I can see, those moderate union workers are as apocryphal as moderate Muslims. I don’t think they exist. They’re goons, that have jobs through intimidation, not skills, if you want to make sure that I don’t hire you, all you have to do is show me your membership card in the Stürmabteilung err union.

Learn how to earn a living without getting drunk on lunch hour, or just go the f*ck away. This country need people who know how to work, not whine.

The only thing Steven Crowder did wrong is that he didn’t put those animals in the ground.

Update: From Michelle Malkin comes this update about the hot dog vendor whose cart was trashed by the union goons.

Here’s a brief update to Michelle’s post about Lansing, Michigan hot dog vendor Clint Tarver, who had been hired by Americans for Prosperity to serve hot dogs outside their now shredded tent during Tuesday’s union protest near the Capitol Building.

Lee Stranahan at Breitbart News interviewed “the hot dog guy” as the upbeat Tarver is known in these parts, and has more on the story:

When reporter Lee Stranahan describes a Guy Fawkes mask, Tarver indicates that it sounds like that is what the assailant wore. Tarver was shown a photo of a Guy Fawkes mask after the interview and confirmed that it what the attacker who kicked over coffee machines and began attacking the tent with a box cutter, was wearing.
[…]

[…]

Video of the interview is here.

Otherwise, Tuesday’s protest was… all together now… mostly peaceful.

A fund started to help Tarver replace his equipment that had an originalgoal of $2,000 is now up to over $25,000.

HEH

Michelle Malkin » Update on ‘the hot dog guy’.

Finding Romney’s 5-Point Plan.

My friend, Freedom by the Way, posted a bit ago that it was difficult to find a copy of Romney’s Five Point Plan, and I noted although I hadn’t looked for a bit, she was right, as usual. Following her link, I found it. Here’s her post, and then I have some more information.

I finally ran a copy of Romney’s Five-Point Plan to ground. You can read the full plan here. The official title: Mitt Romney’s Plan for a Stronger Middle Class.

I am working on a series of posts covering the points of the plan. But first, my nit-picks about the presenting of the plan and not necessarily what’s in the plan, which is pretty good stuff.

  • The title “for a stronger middle class” feels like pandering to me. How about “for a stronger America”. Sorry, Romney, but it sounds like you are trying too hard to remind folks that even though you are wealthy you care about the middle class. I get that. You don’t have to hit us over the head.
  • The plan contains quick, salient points but no details. I understand the need and desire for brevity. But could you at least add a web address to the plan so people know where to find the meat?
  • Finding a PDF copy of the 5-point plan took too many clicks to find on the Romney for President web site. I had thought that simply Googling “Romney’s 5-Point Plan” would yield an immediate hit. Not so. Not even close. This is your meat & potatoes, campaign-stump speech primer. It’s the quick bullets you want voters, bloggers and reporters to know, remember and share so it should be easy to find. It should be everywhere. So what’s going on with your search engine gurus? Do you even have search engine gurus on staff?

I’m not complaining just to read my own complaints. I really do want Romney to win. Americaneeds Romney to win. But in order to win, he needs to run the very best campaign possible.

 So  I e-mailed Romney’s campaign about not being able to easily locate the 5-point plan. So I’m sure by tomorrow it will be everywhere. :)

Finding Romney’s 5-Point Plan..

Like I said I found it following her lead, they must have been listening to her, it’s now on the home page menu but here it is.

Mitt Romney’s Plan For A Stronger Middle Class, Follow the link for more details on the plan including an infographic. it’s a pretty good plan. But they need to get their act together and make this stuff more accessible without waiting for us to tell them about it.

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