I know a former PTA President who had parents lobbying to have their kids declared special needs, because such a child (a) got more resources and (b) had a better chance of getting into the better schools. This suddenly came back to my mind here on our Glorious Fourth – the day we celebrate the independence of our nation. In a nutshell, this is what is wrong with the United States. People are demanding more and more special treatment and Big Government has set itself up as the dispenser of special treatment…and you’re a fool not to grab as much special treatment as you can. Of course, this makes you entirely dependent upon government (and your ability to whine until someone in government gives you something unearned). This, I suspect, it not what the Founders had in mind.
If you want to see where we’re heading, don’t pay too much attention to what the Democrats are up to – they still, to maintain electoral viability, pretend to hold to some of the old, American ideals. If you want to see the future, check out the Green Party plan. Here’s a sample:
Abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude. Guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university. End high stakes testing and public school privatization.
You know me, I’ve advocated abolishing student debt for a long time – coupled with abolishing the student loan program because all that program does is allow colleges to charge ever higher tuition while incentivizing colleges to dumb-down the curriculum because the easier you make college, the more tuition-paying students you get, the more money you have to over-pay professors and administrators (and donate to Progressive causes, of course). The Green Party takes whats wrong about student loans and just puts it on steroids. Now there won’t even be the slight discipline of having to eventually pay back the money…its all “free”, and you can bet your last dollar (if you had one, after paying the taxes for all this) that curricula would become even more vapid as more and more kids are shoveled into the schools so they can sit there until they are 30 providing massive funding for the colleges (and Progressive politics).
If you look over the whole plan, you can see that it’s a litany of proposals to massively increase the power of government. It is absurdly titled the “Power to the People” plan, as if the people will have any power under a system where, among other things, we’ll be forced to transition to “renewable” energy by 2030. But that is how our Progressives view the world – we can’t be free unless we are all forced to live the way Progressives think best for us. Everything is to be owned by the “people”, but of course all the people can’t simultaneously turn the crank of government – just a select (self-selected, naturally) few will be able to do that. You and I will just have to wait and see what comes out – for those most juiced in, a great life; for the rest of us, our potato rations and permission to have electricity 6 hours a day. And while this is the far-out, kook Green Party plan of 2016, you can rest assured it will be standard Democrat party boilerplate by 2024 or so.
Will the people rebel against this, or will they – like those parents shouting at the PTA – merely demand a cut of the government swag?
The whole system is a mess – and it just keeps getting worse. And the answer to Progressive failure is always to apply more Progressivism. I don’t know how we break the cycle. How, that is, we get people to understand that the reason things are lousy is because of the programs allegedly designed to help. It is massively difficult to get someone who is receiving SNAP to understand that they are forced to used SNAP because SNAP exists…and that if SNAP didn’t exist, they wouldn’t starve but would, instead, live in a free society where hard work would raise them up to the point where SNAP isn’t needed. It is hard to get people to understand that the reason they are being harassed (at least in their view) by the police is because the Progressives (who say they are anti-police) are making law after law after law which essentially forces the police to harass the people. It is hard to get people to understand that the fat cat CEO is making all that money because Progressives set tax and regulatory policy just so the CEO can make all that money, even as he ships jobs overseas.
But we have to figure out how to do it before such a large majority is dependent upon government (either for their crumbs from the table, or their position high on the table) that they won’t dare to rock the boat. 2016 is turning out to be a wasted trip for Conservatism – even if Trump manages to win, it won’t help us and may, indeed, harm us as Trump gets identified with Conservatism and starts to screw up. But for 2020 and beyond, we’d better think anew and act anew. Time is running out for the freedoms we declared on July 4th, 1776.
The Green Party Plan pales in comparison to the Green Agenda.
I have this theory that the numerous dystopian/apocalyptic movies and TV shows in recent years are the Left’s effort to make what’s coming look romantic, especially to young people. The Hunger Games‘ Katniss Everdeen is a genuine heroine to many Millenials. What’s likely coming will be anything but romantic. The one thing that can be said with a significant level of confidence is that the Green’s desire for a much smaller earth population will probably be achieved.
That is an interesting take on the dystopian books and movies in the market now. I am not quite convinced, as none of it seems particularly romantic to me. Young people dying brutal deaths in their efforts to save their families and towns from starvation, for example, doesn’t strike me as a romanticized future.
I have wondered about these stories, as they have stuck me as so adamantly anti-Left. The villains are always despots imposing their wills on others. In Hunger Games for example the elites were portrayed as truly despicable people living extravagant lives while the masses toil and starve, and the government is evil and despotic. This is a common theme.
The theme of the young heroes is also consistent. Even if you start with the idea of it taking the young to solve the problems of the world, which is something the Left does try to push in its effort to recruit them, they still depend on old fashioned values, such as independence, courage, loyalty, family ties, friendship, and most of all resistance to tyranny and groupthink.
I have read a lot of YA literature—a friend’s young daughter reads so voraciously she can’t keep up with her, so I have offered to read some of the YA things the daughter is reading so the parents can know what kinds of ideas she is assimilating. I have been impressed. In one series all young people, upon reaching a certain age, undergo surgeries to make them “pretty” and then they enjoy lavish parties, beautiful clothes, and the admiration of their peers. The heroes are those who reject the pressure to look like everyone else, and have to overcome great odds and dangers in their fight for freedom and autonomy. It is the tyrants and the sheeple who come off badly.
In general the themes seem to be self-determination, rejection of groupthink, resistance to a Central Authority, and admiration of commitment, loyalty, steadfastness, courage and family. Katniss is a heroine because she defied the commonly held idea that to succeed no one could form a personal bond or help anyone else, she rejected the concept of every man for himself. and she brought down an evil Central Authority while showing the vapidity of those who follow every fad and live for fashion and whatever is newest and shiniest, without ever questioning authority. She stood for individuality and self determination.
I think maybe you and I are looking at this from two different angles. You’ve clearly read way more than I have, so naturally your perspective would be somewhat different. I don’t think most young adults view our present government as tyrannical or oppressive. You and I look at it from the perspective of the 50’s and 60’s, so the present already looks somewhat dystopian to us. I remember when my granddaughter, probably 15 at the time, finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy, and she asked me if I would find a sapling in our woods and help her make a bow, not to use it against our present government but to use against a future oppressive government. Believe me, the whole concept sounded very romantic to her.
I’m trying to make a point, but failing miserably, sorry. Comey’s press conference today left me at a lost for words.
We’re not really far apart at all. Your granddaughter is looking ahead at a future oppressive government, true, but at least she has a foundation for recognizing an oppressive government when she sees one. At her age she doesn’t have a lot to be oppressed about, if that makes any sense. She is in the bosom of her family, so to speak, and doesn’t have to deal with real life outside it. She is older now. so she has had more experience, but that would make it even easier to see some connections.
If she has a background of identifying with people who stand up to oppresssion, perhaps it will make it easier when she is older to see it in the world around her. In college, she may see it in efforts to suppress free speech. In the workplace she may see elites acting like the fools in Hunger Games and it will resonate that they are blind and silly, and that the ones who really make the country run are quite different.
I think a lot of the messages in books like the Hunger Games trilogy are missed because parents don’t take the time to talk about them and point them out. One thing about that series is that the efforts to control the economy by the government actually made it worse and added to the problem. When things got bad, the reaction of the government was to impose regulations, and the worse it got the more draconian the regulations got, until the entire country was divided into sections which were not allowed to communicate with each other, each section assigned a segment of the economy. If the people had had the freedom to associate and to sort themselves out into what jobs they were best suited for, perhaps the problems would have been resolved a lot earlier. It might be heavy going for a young person, accompanied by sighs and eyerolls, but a similar thing happened in the old USSR, when the government told people what they had to do instead of allowing natural inclinations and talents to lead people into work where they were most likely to do well.
There are book study kinds of questions: Why did the government exert such control? To protect its power, of course. Power is protected when people are stopped from communicating. That alone is an invaluable lesson and once learned will jump up and demand attention when examples show up, as they always do, in our society today. When we understand how certain things threaten the power structure of others, we are better equipped to recognize those power structures for what they are.
Why did Katniss succeed? Because she represented freedom, even to people who had never thought of freedom before. Just by being the person she was, she inspired others to question their submissiveness.
But even without specifics, a discussion of how courage and the quest for freedom can change the world is one worth having. When I read Johnny Tremaine, back in the day, I was much more focused on the story of Johnny, but the lessons of the courage of the revolutionaries, the death of Rab who was older than Johnny and understood what was at stake, the accounts of the actions of people like Revere and Adams, did sink in. I am sure that book has influenced me to this day, in helping form my admiration for the Founders.
I only saw the press conference but couldn’t hear it, as I was in a doctor’s office and the sound was turned down. I could only read the short text comments at the bottom of the screen. That is probably a good thing, as I was in a public place and I am sure having to listen to what even LOOKED like a mealy-mouthed craven bailout would have gotten me somewhat overwrought.
When I went to traffic court the first thing the judge made clear was that you didn’t have to intend to break the law to be guilty of breaking the law. That kind of made my mechanic’s statement that my cruise control was set wrong irrelevant, but I got the message. But the goofiest thing about this bizarre act on TV was the effort to convince us that her acts were never INTENDED to break the law.
The entire dog and pony show completely ignores, or overlooks, or simply denies, the simple fact that what Clinton did was against the law, and she knew it and did it anyway. What more do you have to have to show intent to commit a criminal act? After eight years in the White House and six in the Senate, and after what I am sure were extensive briefings before taking on the job of Sec of State, there is no way she was unaware of the laws regarding security, and of destroying public documents. If you know something is illegal and you do it anyway, that seems like a pretty good definition of intent to commit a criminal act.
In a country where Scooter Libby was prosecuted by a government prosecutor for something that was not only not actually illegal if it had happened, which was always in doubt anyway, even when the prosecutor knew in advance that it was done by someone else, it is increasingly hard to have the slightest faith in the justice system of this country.. It came into the Obama Administration badly damaged, and his laughably named “Justice Department” has pretty much destroyed what was left.
I was flabbergasted at that – “she didn’t intend”. For goodness sake, the mere fact of making an unofficial server for herself was to intend to mishandle official documents, which must be transmitted through official servers! Leaving aside the classification issue: she deliberately and with malice aforethought (unless she’s got an IQ of 60) decided to short circuit any ability of the government to monitor her official communications! But then add in the classification issue and she’s worthy of a couple decades in jail.
But, we all knew it would come out like this. I’m not sure of Comey – initially, finding he was appointed by Obama, I assumed he was a Democrat. But he was registered Republican and had donated to both McCain and Romney (though it does not appear he has voted in a number of years). But, then I also found out he was in charge of prosecuting Martha Stewart – so, the guy who sends Martha Stewart to jail for sharp practice is the guy who can’t bring himself to recommend indictment of Hillary? What I think happened is that it was brought home to him that under no circumstances would DoJ actually indict or prosecute Hillary; so recommending an indictment would massively rock the boat, and he’s looking at Hillary being President while he continues to try to be FBI Director…he’s got a 10 year term which doesn’t expire until 2023 (ie, until nearly he end of a putative 2nd Hillary term); dealing with Hillary after recommending indictment would be impossible. It is possible that Comey is just a careerist who decided his career was more important than doing what is right.
Well, SOMETHING “…was more important than doing what is right…”
He may have been calculating what he would have to do to keep his job under a President Clinton, but that is really rolling the dice, as he has to understand that this will do her little if any good. I think it is going to backfire big time because the message is clear—when it comes to a Clinton, the law is what they say it is. (Just as sex is what they say it is.) I don’t think there is any way anyone can buy what he said. I think even people who did not want her to be indicted because they did not want the Dems to take the hit wanted it to be cleaner than this, and even they have to realize that this is utterly insane.
It not only says the Clintons are above the law, it says the FBI is corrupt and cannot be trusted. Certainly there have been grumblings about the FBI for a long time, some of it tinfoil hat stuff and some of it about making mistakes, but I don’t think there has ever been anything like this, that makes the entire agency a laughingstock and destroys any credibility it might have otherwise had.
We now have courts that don’t rule according to the law, we have a law enforcement agency that won’t enforce the law, we have an a political power grab masquerading as an environmental protection agency, we have a putative tax collection agency that is now part disciplinary in nature, punishing political enemies, and part bully-boy Gestapo thugs tracking down people who don’t buy insurance and selectively enforcing tax law, and now the Dems want us to elect a Commander in Chief who could not get a security clearance.
Every time I think it can’t get any crazier, it gets crazier.
The political cartoons tomorrow are going to be brutal. I wonder how many will feature some version of J. Edgar rolling over in his grave.
Hillary — well, let me re-phrase — no one who did what Hillary did could pass a background check for a security clearance. Can’t be President without a security clearance, period, end of story!
One would think so, wouldn’t one? Which leads us to a logical question—did she pass one before she was named Sec of State>
The only way for the blowback on this to be anything but catastrophic for the FBI is to guarantee that Hillary is elected.
Look which agencies will undergo major upheavals if a Republican is elected—DOJ, IRS, FBI, EPA…….
I don’t know about that. They couldn’t prosecute Bill in office with libs claiming, the voters have spoken, which seemed to carry a lot of weight at the time. If you win, the will of the people and all, who is going to say gee, I’m sorry, but you can’t have a security clearance Mr. President? We will just have to do this election thingy again. Heck, we can’t even have a honest election without ballot box stuffing or black panthers intimidating voters on TV with bats at the polls. Just ask Al Franken the elected leader who didn’t win, but was none-the-less elected! He has a seat in in the Senate Chambers and votes for liberal policy at ever opportunity. His vote was key on health care wasn’t it? The republic is as dead as is the rule of law. As you feared Ben, we were unable to keep it.
At this point, what short of civil war might revive it, and for how long? Globalization is the goal of the enemy and the enemy of freedom loving people everywhere. It is the antithesis of what America was envisioned to be by our forefathers. Unfortunately, it seems to be supported by both parties. I am convince it is this factor, that lead to the revolt in the conservative sector and is the reason for Trump’s rise to the head of the Republican party. His platform, America First, resonates more than we realize in our sub consciences. By the way, I not a Trumpster by any stretch of the imagination.
Did Bill ride with Loretta on purpose? Yes. Not only did they decide not to enforce the law and protect Loretta from making the announcement, they decided to stick their thumb in our eye as they flaunted they could not be forced to comply, because they are the law. So, much for avoiding the appearance of impropriety or working within the system to affect change. The system is rigged and they want us all to know that resistance is futile at least within the system.