Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

ETERNAL CHILDREN

ETERNAL CHILDREN

By Robert Williams

HOW IT WAS

Up until the close of World War Two, children began doing chores as soon as they were physically able,  because in those days society expected all children to be prepared to take adult responsibilities and start  earning a living sometime between the years of 18 and 21.  Except for young adults running a family farm or a family business,  most new adults were also expected to live in a separate residence from their parents.   Young people were enthusiastic about this arrangement  because all during childhood they looked up to their hard-working parents and wanted the pride of asserting their own independence as a way of proving themselves.

HOW IT IS

Fewer and fewer families in the modern Western world follow this tried and true formula.  There are more single-parent families than ever,  there are more divorced parents than ever,  there is less discipline than ever, and less emphasis on moral values and the work ethic than ever.   There are more and more 40-year-olds living in their parents’ homes without any real prospect of changing the situation.   The only thing left to them are video games and the Internet “social sites” such as Twitter and Facebook.  With less reliable structure and in too many cases a lack of traditional fatherhood,  the young are far more vulnerable to the hedonistic and  nihilistic temptations of “easy money” and “freedom from conscience” available in neighborhood criminal gangs or the vaporous promises of a “Woodstock” generation that has abandoned all purpose and virtue.

THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

Simply put,  in the last 50 years the role of government and government institutions including public schools has increasingly contributed to the degradation pointed out above.   Essentially,  massive increases in welfare dependency,  increases in school drop-outs, and  the “Nanny state” take over of parenting,  has guaranteed a loss of incentive and loss of production.  So far,  the government’s answer has been only to hire more “study panels” and throw more and more borrowed money at the situation.   The result is always the same, — more and more dependency on government,  more and more debt, less and less self-respect,  and less and less production.   Pay off the debt and regain some world respect?  We can’t even keep up the interest payments at the rate we are now trending.

PERPETUAL ENFORCED CHILDHOOD

Kids love to pretend, so they start out living partly in a fantasy world.  This is harmless unless it is carried too far for too long.  The naive kids now in charge of the nation had no reason to grow up.  Therefore they lack the one ingredient of growing up that is the most important.  The ability to recognize reality.  If supposed adults don’t grow up then they can’t comprehend reality and they cannot be expected to apply common sense solutions.

BETRAYAL

First we damage our children,  then we elect these perpetual children to live in luxury while they apply unbelievably  childish incompetence to running our country.   Then to top it all off we hand our own children the multi-trillion dollar bill.  Can any sane person see an ounce of wisdom in this betrayal of our progeny and inevitable suicide of our society?

Posted February 25, 2014 by Candidus in Culture, Government, Politics

WARNING SIGNS

WARNING SIGNS

by Robert Williams

World War Two started with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany.  The unprepared allies could  do little and the United States attention was understandably focused on Europe.  The Japanese opportunists had invaded Manchuria and established bases along the Coast  of China by the time America became concerned and began embargoing shipping from and to Japan.  Right up to the day Japan launched its devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor,  negotiations were going on in Washington with the Japanese ambassador.   Up to the hour of the attack there were warning signs including the spotting of a Japanese submarine and a wave of unexplained numerous aircraft showing on a U.S. Army radar screen in Hawaii.

The human error of complacency and disbelief was the reason no one became sufficiently alarmed to take action and our fleet and airfields were caught completely flat-footed.  That sort of human error has doomed us to ambush throughout human history.  Imagine the cave man who receives a visitor telling him of sighting some saver-tooth tracks in the valley below his cave.  Distracted by the ensuing chat,  the cave man neglects to put enough wood on his night fire and its dying embers do not prevent the prowling saber-tooth from entering the cave before dawn to slaughter its occupants in their sleep.

And so it  goes.  We never learn.  During World War Two, especially after the Pearl Harbor sneak attack, we belatedly built a formidable anti espionage agency,  only to dismantle most of it up until 9-11.   Playing catch-up we managed to identify Al Quaeda in Afghanistan and nearly wiped them out,  but we abandoned the effort prematurely to conduct a bungled and confused Iraq war where we insisted on “rules of engagement” which favored the enemy.  Now we are bungling our efforts to quit both Afghanistan and Iraq with those same rules in place.  Even President Bush called Islam a “great and peaceful religion”.  The truth for thousands of years is that Islam is anything but “peaceful” and  until we finally recognize that truth we will never be able to escape its violence.  Our current administration is even worse in its appeasement of Islamic countries.

But that is not all.  We are currently ignoring many warning signs that the greatness that was America in both liberty and “can-do” spirit has for about 50 years been diminishing at a rapidly accelerating rate.  A large portion of our populace and our administrative and economic “insiders” are immature imbeciles incapable of recognizing reality who have accepted the fantasy promises of the socialistic elite whose past experiments have so obviously failed throughout history.  As a result that prowling saber-tooth is no longer just prowling.  It is actually breathing down our necks ready to snap its jaws.  Yet we continue to insist its hot breath is nothing more than a little spring breeze easily subdued by more trillions of borrowed money.

Posted February 25, 2014 by Candidus in Culture, Government

AMERICAN ROME?

AMERICAN ROME?
by Robert Williams

According to Fox News on August 4, 2013,  a group of libertarians gathered in Las Vegas recently for an event called “FreedomFest” at which they debated whether America will soon fall as Rome did.  Here is a synopsis I made of their conclusions.  The comparisons to Rome are quite interesting.

Rome had a constitution that was often ignored.  “Elected” Roman leaders often legislated by “executive order”.

Romans started out as a frugal and hardworking.  After they gained power and prosperity they suffered moral, economic, and national collapse because of overspending, overborrowing, overtaxing, and devaluing the currency.” (sound familiar?)

Late in Rome’s days Nero took trips with 1,000 carriages.  (which of our presidents does that remind you of?).

Roman Emperor Tiberius gathered “beautiful boys and girls”,  so as Tacitus wrote, the emperor “could defile them.”  Illicit sex in the Oval Office anyone?

Emperor Commodus held a show in the Colosseum at which he personally killed animals while well protected by his guards.  Which well protected American president strutted about his role in the killing of Osama Bin Laden?

To pay for their excesses and buying votes with “bread and circuses”,  Roman emperors devalued the currency. Our Fed does that by buying trillions of government debt.

Nero reduced the silver content of coins. Trajan reduced it even more.  According to history,  in the year 300, wheat that once cost eight Roman dollars  required 120,000 Roman dollars.  American inflation seems headed likewise.

The president of the Foundation for Economic Education, Lawrence Reed, is reported to have warned that Rome, like America, had a continuously expanding welfare state which started with “subsidized” grain at half price.  That was so wildly popular and resulted in so many votes that Roman leaders could not stop.  A man named Claudius ran for office on a platform of entirely free wheat for the masses.  He won hands down.  Greed for power made sure it was downhill from there. Free olive oil, free salt and pork, etc. etc. People lined up to get free stuff and the government paid little attention to making sure these generous subsidies went only to the truly disabled poor.  Everyone could get in the game, so incentive for producing things dropped to a state of bankruptcy.  Detroit anyone?

As inflation increased, Rome imposed wage and price controls.  Romans rioted and Emperor Diocletian denounced their “greed,” saying, “Shared humanity urges us to set a limit.”  Sounds a lot like today’s anti-capitalist politicians,  doesn’t it?

It got so bad that Rome even punished those who tried to reverse the corrupt and failed policies.  Remind you of IRS targeting?

Rome did finally utterly collapse and was sacked and raped by the Goths.  But there is today at least one difference. We have movements like the Tea Party and the Internet to alert people about the real danger of an increasingly imperial Washington.  Because of the addictive human greed for power,  the blessings of liberty are fragile and not guaranteed.  We barely still have the means to fight.  The only question is — with half the population on the government side,  will the other half fight?

Posted September 12, 2013 by Candidus in America, Culture, Politics

FALL OF THE IDEOLOGUES

FALL OF THE IDEOLOGUES
by Michael Dennin

Back in July when Americans prepared to celebrate the 237th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, a revolution of another sort broke out in Egypt, where that nation’s military deposed the country’s Islamist president, Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, after tens of millions of Egyptians took to their streets to demand his removal. Consumed with gaining power and fundamentally transforming Egypt into an Islamic state, practical matters such as improving the economy and delivering basic public services were ignored and even harmed to achieve the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideological goals. Predictably, as conditions throughout the country deteriorated and Morsi became more autocratic, the public became increasingly dissatisfied with a president that they thought, with good reason, had exceeded his mandate and made life worse for ordinary citizens, and thus the “second revolution” in Egypt began.

Sound familiar?

In America, a majority of voters elected a president who is consumed with power and fundamentally transforming the United States of America into a collectivist state. Like Morsi, Barack Obama’s “transformational agenda” is his top priority, and practical matters such as jobs and the economy have been ignored and even harmed to achieve his socialist ideological goals. Since the Great Recession ended in 2009, the president’s policies have contributed directly to the worst economic “recovery” in American history, resulting in painfully low growth and high unemployment. Furthermore, Obama has pushed against popular opposition to military strikes against Syria (where America’s enemies are currently killing one another), increasingly resorted to executive fiat to unilaterally impose his agenda on the entire country, and been embroiled in scandals ranging from the terrorist attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 to the harassment of his political opponents by the IRS to the data mining operation conducted by the NSA that has invaded the privacy of virtually every household in the United States. Not surprisingly, as the president’s failures and autocracy have mounted, his approval rating has correspondingly nosedived as a growing majority of Americans have become increasingly disenchanted and dissatisfied with his administration and its policies.

The similarities between the failed presidencies in Egypt and America are both obvious and striking, but what, ultimately, is at the root of these similarities? In a word, ideologues, and the lesson we all can learn, from Cairo to Washington and beyond, is that bad things happen when ideologues obtain power and control over an entire people. Ideologues will always to put their ideology and transformational agendas before everything else, and in the most extreme cases, they will put them before the lives of other human beings. This is because at the heart of every ideologue who wants to fundamentally transform a people and/or a society is the nihilist who wants to destroy the world around him, and this explains why many of the most murderous and destructive monsters in human history were ideologues. This is why people should never, ever underestimate the capacity of ideologues to inflict harm on the individuals and societies around them, and more importantly, this is why people should never make the mistake of granting ideologues any measure of power over their lives in the first place.

Posted September 12, 2013 by Candidus in Culture, Politics

On Private and Public Virtue

ON PRIVATE AND PUBLIC VIRTUE
by Robert Williams and Michael Dennin

In the Declaration of Independence, the Founders make mention of “one people” and a “good people” – a people who are wise and virtuous enough to make their own decisions concerning their lives and their country. In response to the despotism, injuries and caprices of the ruling elite in Great Britain, who had placed themselves above accountability and the will of the American people, our Forefathers exercised their inalienable right to renounce and abolish that regime and replace it with a limited form of consensual republican government where power and sovereignty was invested in the individual and bound by the rule of written law.

What is happening now in America is that a slim majority of “the people” have decided to abandon the principles of limited government and the rule of law in favor of rule by the machinations and arbitrary fiat of a political “elite” who are selected purely on their ability to deliver entitlement funding and services, not on their ability to govern in an effective and fiscally responsible manner. This corrosive and corrupt arrangement, where too many lazy and irresponsible people survive by preying on hardworking taxpayers, is a product of the declining state of personal and public virtue in our country. In the not too distant past, Americans valued the freedom and dignity that self-sufficiency and personal independence brought them. Dependency was considered a shameful thing – a consequence of personal weakness and failure. Today, Socialist elites, such as Barack Obama, cater outrageously to people who look to government to do what those people themselves are able but unwilling to do for their own welfare. Politicians entrusted with wise representatiion have instead made a conscious effort to de-stigmatize unnatural dependency. They do this by propagating the phony narrative that the people who use our social safety nets as a hammock are the victims of Capitalism and the “greedy” rich. Never mind that the rich pay approximately 70 percent of the total quantity of revenue taken in.

What we see here is the mutually reinforcing collapse of private and public virtue, where public officials and private individuals conspire to steal and redistribute the wealth of productive Americans not just for the benefit of people who genuinely can’t help their own need, but also for the benefit of numerous lazy freeloaders. Worse yet, this conspiracy is motivated primarly to buy votes while at the same time it is purposely cloaked in a false claim of “compassion for the poor” while trumpeting the “harsh lack of compassion” in anyone who objects to this subterfuge. To compound that abuse and try to strengthen their case, both of these classes of thieves, having convinced each other of the righteousness of their larceny, have turned to the media for propagandizing their “redistributionist” racket as an honorable and noble form of altruism, while viciously and dishonestly vilifying the victims who dare to protest it. Once you can convince people that crime is a virtue, you have corrupted and debased them to the point where you can convince them of anything, including the “need” for everyone to surrender their freedom and the fruits of their honest labor.

One might think that such a thing could never happen in this country, but consider what happened during and and after the enactment of the ObamaCare individual mandate, when the government elite in Washington ignored the Constitution and rule of written law in this country and overturned the Founding Principle that rights and responsibilities are derived from the Individual, not the State. It all began when a majority of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate violated their solemn oaths to uphold the Constitution,  and in true Orwellian fashion attempted to classify inaction as action in order to force Americans to purchase health insurance so that the government could fund its latest multi-trillion dollar entitlement program. Unable to pass the individual mandate’s exaction as a tax, Congress passed it as a regulatory penalty and then sent it on to President Obama for signature. At this point, the President violated his own oath of office to uphold the Constitution and signed the bill with its illegal penalty in place. From there, things went from bad to worse.

After this illegal penalty was rightly challenged in court, the Obama Administration, in yet another Orwellian sleight of hand, arbitrarily decided to ignore the language in the statute and dishonestly declared that the unconstitutional penalty it had signed into law was now a tax, in spite of the fact that the exaction was repeatedly and explicitly defined as a penalty. This completely arbitrary ex post facto alteration of the language in the statute was finally argued before the Supreme Court, where Chief Justice John Roberts violated his oath to uphold the Constitution and arbitrarily decided to ignore and alter the language in the statute that Congress and the President signed into law. By arbitrarily alterating the language in the law and judging the constitutionality of the mandate based on this alteration, not only did the Chief Justice violate the Constitution by engaging in what his fellow justices described as an unconstitutional act of “judicial tax writing”, but the Chief Justice, following in the footsteps of President Obama, also trampled on the rule of law by declaring that the language in a statute meant nothing – that it could be arbitrarily altered after it was written and signed into law.

Clearly, this is an argument against the rule of written law and in favor of the rule of arbitrary fiat. This outrage permitted Congress to get away with passing a tax it never enacted and enabled all three branches of government to violate the Constitution and rule of law with impunity. When the Founders and Framers established our tricameral system of government, they did so with the intent that all three branches would serve to prevent each other from committing unconstitutional expansions of power that undermined the rule of law and freedom of American citizens. Instead, as we find that with the passage of the ObamaCare individual mandate, all three branches become a mutually reinforcing vehicle that serves the unchecked expansion of government power and arbitrary rule.

These are not the actions of a virtuous government that could legitimately command our lawful compliance and respect. Instead, these are the actions of an arrogant political establishment that serves itself at the expense of the freedom and prosperity of the American people. This is a troubling matter in itself, but what is even more disconcerting is what this despicable political establishment reveals about the character of the people who are responsible for its existence. A virtuous people would never tolerate a political establishment that eagerly violates the Constitutional compact between the people and the state. In the decade preceding the American Revolution, the violation of the social compact between the British Colonists in America and their capricious and unaccountable government in London constituted grounds for revolution. Today, a venal segment of our populace not only tolerates the violation of our social compact and the rule of law by a similarly arrogant political elite, it actually demands these violations and rewards the traitors who commit them.

For all the talk of reforming and restraining our government, this can never be achieved unless we address the corrupted state of private and public virtue in America. For its part, the GOP has spent a lot of time talking about values but it hasn’t spent much time talking about virtues, probably because so many Republicans have compromised their own public virtue. Democrats, on the other hand, aren’t even remotely interested in restoring the virtues that made our country great – they’re too busy trying to de-stigmatize both their own lack of public virtue and their entitlement constituency’s lack of private virtue. The only people who have made a determined effort to restore these values are the grassroots conservative movements in this country, and they have struggled mightily in the face of fierce opposition from the Left and its slander artists in the mainstream media. However, the Left’s efforts to prevent the restoration of private and public virtue in this country does not excuse the Right’s own failure to convince the American people of the imperative and genuine practical benefits of re-embracing the virtues that made America the freest, strongest and most prosperous nation on earth. Republicans, Libertarians, and grassroots conservatives must make a sincere commitment to uphold and promote those virtues, and they must impart the fact that these are universal, common sense virtues that have enabled human beings regardless of their race, sex or creed to live both free and prosperous. We must also make clear that when we talk about these private and public virtues, we are also talking about civic duty. Contrary to President Obama’s delusional propaganda, our primary and essential civic duty is to provide for ourselves, not rob others by decree. If a citizen refuses to do what is possible to do in fulfilling the fundamental personal and civic responsibility of self-support, then that citizen is a selfish burden rather than a productive member of society who contributes the resources that provide for the common good. Individuals and businesses – not the government, and not the unproductive members of the entitlement class – pay the taxes that build our military, our infrastructure, our educational system, our social safety nets, etc..

Yes, we the People who believe in private and public virtue built our country. We built ALL of it! The government does fulfill some of the legitimate functions enumerated above, but where do the funds come from?  The funds come from taxes paid by self-sufficient hard-working Americans and those funds are far too often squandered on the vote-buying redistribution schemes of corrupt politicians. The American people must be reminded of the importance of private and public virtue and its correlation to civic duty if we are to retain our freedom, strength and prosperity not only for ourselves, but for future generations of Americans.

Posted February 10, 2013 by Candidus in America, Culture

Teaching Public Virtue

TEACHING PUBLIC VIRTUE (PART I)
by Robert Williams

There is little controversy about the need for adults to educate their young by utilizing some sort of public or private schooling methods.  The common desire and expectation is that the young will grow up instilled with sufficient societal skills to assume adult responsibilities by the time they are 21 years of age.  These societal skills include the basics of academic subjects such as reading, writing, and arithmetic — plus an understanding of what society in general considers behavior beneficial to,  or detrimental to,  the advancement of the human species.  Behavioral topics constitute what is most often meant by the words “morals” and “virtues” and “vices”.   Be their origin divine or secular — the usefulness of such principles to society is seldom questioned because everyone throughout history has noticed that humans without such training are like ships without rudders that are condemned to the whim and fancy of nature’s winds and tides and can do much harm.

Since its foundation,  America has used morals taught by the Christian religion as a basis for distinguishing “good” from “bad”.  It is not surprising then,  that any kind of instruction of appropriate behavior is in the minds of many Americans automatically associated with religion.  While  it used to be that Christianity was openly espoused and practiced in public schools,  modern interpretation of the First Amendment tends to prohibit such.  The end result is that the teaching of “moral” behavior has little or no emphasis in modern public schools.   Unless private schooling and parental guidance can fill the gap,  too many citizens can now grow up without any rudder one could call “virtuous”.   The result is rampant bribery, dishonesty, and general chicanery at all levels of American society including the highest levels of government and finance.  A ruinous condition to be sure.

It should be obvious that if our society is to right itself,   it must restore a behavioral rudder.  Call that rudder what you may,  it has to be taught to our young.  In the hopes of avoiding a religious connotation and for the sake of discussion,  I term it here “public virtue” or a “public value system”.  It should not matter who believes what about the origin of such a system  as long as there is a majority agreement about the good public impact of its principles.  Deciding on the enumeration of these principles is really not all that hard.  We merely have to pick from the common-sense evidence of what has worked well through the ages.  Be charitable, don’t lie, don’t steal, reserve violence for self-defense, be civil in general, observe others’ rights as defined by the Constitution and the laws, etc.

The question is,  how can we restore the teaching of such principles into public schools without running afoul of the First Amendment and  ACLU law suits?  One answer may be to use words which cannot be associated automatically with religion.  Existing classes called “civics” for instance,  could include topics called “principles of social behavior” instead of being called “morals”.  In colleges they could be associated with “the psychology of public behavior”  or some such.  It is a shame we should have come to the point where such subtleties become necessary,  but hey — they are used all the time in “polite society” — such as calling sexual organs “private parts”.

The final answer of  course will depend on how much of the public can be alerted for putting sufficient pressure on elected school boards to have any effect.

TEACHING PUBLIC VIRTUE (PART II)
By Michael Dennin

It’s no secret that much of the support that Barack Obama has received over the years comes from young people, and it’s no secret a lot of them think he’s “cool”. No doubt, part of this comes from the slick persona he has projected to the public, and some of it comes from his hipster pot-smoking days in Hawaii when he was a member of the Choom Gang. However, a lot of the appeal has to do with the ages old tendency of young people to be naive, idealistic, liberal and even collectivist-minded – traits that are commonly associated with the Left. To be anything otherwise – i.e., conservative – is often considered backwards, lame and uncool. Naturally, Leftist ideologues and politicians promote and exploit those attitudes for their own benefit. What can the Right do to counter the Left’s propaganda?

In a nutshell, Conservatives and Libertarians have to counter the collectivist lies that Socialists are feeding young Americans. One of the most outrageous of these lies is the one that President Obama peddled at his recent inauguration speech – that our entitlements and government’s socialist redistribution schemes are what makes this country great. They’re not. What made this country great is individual freedom and initiative. It was the hard work of the people who settled the American wilderness, farmed its lands and toiled in factories to make a better life for themselves and their children that made this country great. The government didn’t build that. The Left’s socialist redistribution schemes didn’t build that. Individual freedom and initiative built that.

And this brings us to a little thing called History and what Socialism did build. It built the Soviet Union and its Gulag Archipelago. It built the Killing Fields of Cambodia. It built the starving wastelands of the Ukrainian Holomodor, China’s “Great Leap Forward”, Mengistu’s Ethiopia and the Kim dynasty’s North Korea. It built the re-education camps of Communist Vietnam. It built the Berlin Wall. It built the most rights-repressive socio-economic system in human history, killing 100 million human beings and destroying every society and economy that it touched. It built the Great Lie that Socialists can bring freedom and prosperity to all by robbing individuals of their freedom and prosperity. This totalitarian Lie is the roadmap to slavery and ruin. As William Faulkner pointed out in his numerous stories about the American South, Man cannot defy Nature with impunity, and it is Man’s Nature to be free. When men defied that truth here in America it led to the catastrophe of our Civil War and the decades of strife that followed. When men defied that truth in Russia, Eastern Europe, China, Southeast Asia and elsewhere, it brought more war, death and destruction. Those who forget and ignore this bitter lesson of history risk repeating it themselves. Our young people need to be made aware of this.

Finally, the Right must aggressively attack the Collectivist lies and propaganda of the Left. We must counter the Left’s campaign to de-stigmatize government dependency and its phony narrative that freeloaders are the “victims” of Capitalism and the greed of the “rich”. This is naked power-mongering at its worst, and it must be exposed as such. Dependency – most particularly dependency on the government – is not a good or desirable thing. Independence is the key to freedom. Dependent people can never be free. Dependent people can never be the masters of their own destiny. Dependency is not cool – it sucks, and the “progressives” who promote dependency for the sake of enhancing their own power are not cool. They’re not even progressive – they are Socialists. They are not revolutionaries, they are reactionaries who still cling to an 18th Century socio-economic ideology that should have perished with the Berlin Wall. The only true revolutionary ideal is Individual Freedom. It is this ideal that represents the true revolutionary break from the long dark centuries of State-imposed tyranny and totalitarianism. Again, Conservatives and Libertarians must spell this out to young people.

Leftists are waging open war on Individual Freedom and they are targeting their propaganda at the most vulnerable segment of society, our youth. If we wish to preserve Individual Freedom in this country, we must make it our duty to actively promote it to our youth. Their hearts and minds are the battleground for America’s future and we must arm them with the truth.

Posted February 10, 2013 by Candidus in Activism, Culture