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Who Killed the Knapp Family?
New York Slimes ^ | 1/9/2020 | Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Posted on 01/12/2020 6:05:54 AM PST by ModernDayCato

Background: My family has an email list where we share articles and opinions. Someone recently circulated this opinion piece from the New York Times, and I am offering my response hoping for comments from my FRiends.

Who Killed the Knapp Family?

YAMHILL, Ore. — Chaos reigned daily on the No. 6 school bus, with working-class boys and girls flirting and gossiping and dreaming, brimming with mischief, bravado and optimism. Nick rode it every day in the 1970s with neighbors here in rural Oregon, neighbors like Farlan, Zealan, Rogena, Nathan and Keylan Knapp.

They were bright, rambunctious, upwardly mobile youngsters whose father had a good job installing pipes. The Knapps were thrilled to have just bought their own home, and everyone oohed and aahed when Farlan received a Ford Mustang for his 16th birthday.

Yet today about one-quarter of the children on that No. 6 bus are dead, mostly from drugs, suicide, alcohol or reckless accidents. Of the five Knapp kids who had once been so cheery, Farlan died of liver failure from drink and drugs, Zealan burned to death in a house fire while passed out drunk, Rogena died from hepatitis linked to drug use and Nathan blew himself up cooking meth. Keylan survived partly because he spent 13 years in a state penitentiary.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

KEYWORDS: bookmark; government; liberalism; times
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My response:

I understand the points being made here, but the liberal bias is obvious.

The anti capitalist bullshit is hilarious. Hypocrites like Dalio who made billions because of capitalism decry it as “broken.” Okay Ray, give the money back. Otherwise STFU.

Bill Gates thinks “rich people” should pay more taxes. Okay Billy Boy, write a check to the US Government for as much as you want to pay. Otherwise STFU.

First the problem: destruction of the working class. “Big Business” is always the bogeyman. Liberal drips always whine about globalization and destruction of labor unions, offering both as responsible for drug abuse, poverty, dogs and cats sleeping together, and cancer.

Capitalism, communism, socialism and all other -isms tend toward exploitation of resources, simply because they all count on people to do the “right” thing. As a company your first responsibility is to make money for your shareholders.

If a labor union decides that putting bolts on the bumper of a car is worth $35 an hour then that creates an incentive to find cheaper labor or install robots to do the work.

So that eventually lands the bolt installers on the unemployment line. Since they were part of an artificial economy they can’t find a job that pays that kind of scratch for that kind of work. ‘

That’s the way the market works.

McDonalds charges $1.00 for a cheeseburger. That’s what they believe is a fair price. If the person on the grill demands $15.00 per hour to take your order, McDonald’s can:

1. Raise their prices.
2. Have fewer people taking orders.
3. Replace the order takers with kiosks.
4. Use fewer ingredients.

Ask New York City or Seattle which one McDonald’s chooses.

Once they squeeze the maximum efficiencies out of the business they have to figure out other ways to make more money.

Fortunately (for them) the people we vote for are for sale, and are good investments.

It isn’t difficult to figure out how members of Congress get voted into office with meager net worth and retire as millionaires.

Paraphrasing Harry S Truman, you can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook.

It’s simple — they’re whores. They will create any artificial economy a big company asks for as long as the price is right.

The whores are just whoring.

As Ronald Reagan said “Government is not the solution to our problem. It IS the problem.”

In fact, the federal government is a complete scam. They take your property (money), pay a good portion of it to 2 million employees who mostly can’t be fired, and distribute it back to wherever they want, while ensuring that portions of it stick to the fingers of friends, relatives and preferred vendors. If I tried that I’d go to jail. They get rich. While we get the shaft.

Take the so-called “War on Poverty.” The Heritage Foundations says they’ve spent $22 Trillion on anti-poverty programs, not counting Social Security and Medicare. There are still approximately 41 million people in poverty, which is statistically insignificant from 50 years ago when the spending started.

They should have just written them all a check.

And BTW…the average taxpayer pays 23.8% of their income to the Feds. The median income in 2019 was $46,000 and change. So to help people out of poverty, if taxes were eliminated people would get a raise of about ten grand a year.

It’s easy to blame business for crony capitalism. It’s like the joke about the frog and the scorpion. Of course he’s going to sting the frog. He’s a SCORPION. Business does anything and everything they can to create more value for their shareholders. They’re BUSINESS.

When you run out of ideas you control rather than innovating. Hello Apple, Facebook, google. Our greedy elected representatives are tools for that control.

So...destruction of the working class is a metaphor for the destruction of the Republic and erosion of civil society in general, to wit:

1. The removal of God from people’s lives. God represents absolute good. Remove that and anything goes.

The USA, the greatest country ever conceived, was modeled on Judeo-Christian beliefs. Not Hinduism, Atheism, Druidism or any other belief system. You can pretend all you want and piss and moan until the cows come home, but facts are facts.

If the government (or people) become their own moral authority, we end up with babies murdered, rampant corruption, people murdering themselves, and the devaluation of altruism.

2. Feminization of men and gender roles. The idea is to separate people into identity groups and create a hierarchy. Nowhere is this more obvious then with the “snowflakes” and “soy boys.”

Clint Eastwood put it best when he said that “we’re living in sort of a more pussy generation now.”

I’m tired of hearing about toxic masculinity, of being told I can’t offend anyone, of being expected to take responsibility for any act perpetrated by white males anywhere and at any time.

Assholes know no gender or race.

And for Cripe’s sake, cut the crap with the “identification” as a different gender. Calling it sex and separating it from gender. Seriously? Listen. If you have or have ever had a penis, you’re a guy. You can call yourself a Golden Retriever or a donut, but don’t expect me to find you a kennel or a cup of coffee. And you still use the MEN’s room and play MEN’s sports. Why? Because you’re a guy. Period.

Same goes for the vagina crowd.

Yeah it’s amusing, but it’s sinister as well. If we’re all the same we share the least common denominator of gender. We are who and what we say we are, because there are no absolutes and no moral right and wrong.

Marriage becomes devalued. The family becomes devalued. There are no male or female roles or role models. “Gender fluidity” is the new norm for parenting. That will make the mental health industry a growth business.

3. Destruction of American Exceptionalism and identity

Sigh. I’m not apologizing for being American. Yes, we’re boorish and uncultured and all the other crap jealous people say about the people of whom they are jealous.

American Exceptionalism is attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville in his 1835/1840 work, Democracy in America.

Political Scientist Seymour Martin Lipset developed a concept he calls “Americanism,” which is based on liberty, equality before the law, individual responsibility, republicanism, representative democracy and laissez-faire economics.

If you examine each tenet above it becomes immediately obvious how much we’ve strayed from those principles.

I helped one of my friends (a Millenial) study for her teaching certification in Massachusetts. This is a woman with above average intelligence and a master’s degree. She leans to the liberal fantasy realm, but even she was appalled at the characterization of people like Ronald Reagan, and the obvious liberal slant to the curriculum and even the test.

Her civics education was largely completed on her own, and while she has an above average knowledge of American History, there are some pretty serious gaps in what she was taught. And what she will be teaching. Which brings us to…

4. Indoctrinating over educating

It is positively pathetic that only 39% of American adults could pass a quiz based on questions taken from the US Citizen test. Here are some examples:

Only 13 percent of people surveyed knew the Constitution was ratified in June 1788, with most respondents thinking it was 1776, the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. Sixty percent of people did not know which countries America fought during WWII. And, despite the recent spotlight on the Supreme Court, more than half, 57 percent, did not know how many justices are on the court. There are nine.

Additionally, according to the survey, 72 percent of respondents were unsure of or incorrectly identified the original 13 states and only 24 percent were able to identify correctly one thing Benjamin Franklin was famous for (37 percent said it was for inventing the lightbulb). About one-quarter, 24 percent, knew why the colonists fought the British, and while most knew the cause of the Cold War, 2 percent said it was climate change.

How can America continue to be America if no one knows what that means?

So there’s the problem. The NYT says that the solution is (of course), the Government.

After all, they’ve always done so well with every other problem (see War on Poverty above).

I don’t disagree that job (re) training is better than just pushing money at the problem. Even Joe “Learn to Code” Biden acknowledges that.

But why does that always have to be the answer? C’mon….your best example is Canada? Really?

And the healthcare debacle. Yeah, Canada’s is great. That’s why so many people flock to Canada for medical care and innovation. Seriously?

So in conclusion, every problem we have circles back to the government, including healthcare. Starting with Ted Kennedy’s HMOs, the Government can’t do anything better than the market. Game over.

And please. Stop saying that extreme Government (Communism and/or Socialism) will solve everything. Uh huh.

There’s no doubt in my mind leftists believe that Government is the answer. That’s what scares me the most.

As Reagan also said: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the Government and I’m here to help.’”

End of rant.

1 posted on 01/12/2020 6:05:54 AM PST by ModernDayCato
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To: ModernDayCato

“The Knapps were thrilled to have just bought their own home, and everyone oohed and aahed when Farlan received a Ford Mustang for his 16th birthday.”

Pretty much the beginning of the end right there, as far as I’m concerned.

2 posted on 01/12/2020 6:14:25 AM PST by BobL (I eat at McDonald's and shop at Walmart - I just don't tell anyone.)
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To: ModernDayCato

Rant on,no argument here
But yer preaching to the choir

3 posted on 01/12/2020 6:17:02 AM PST by HangnJudge (Kipling was right about Humanity)
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To: ModernDayCato

There is no reason whatsoever to link to the NYT for news.
They are forever beclowned.

4 posted on 01/12/2020 6:17:17 AM PST by Da Coyote (is)
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To: ModernDayCato

Good rant. Thanks.


The lie is the weapon used most often by the criminal.

5 posted on 01/12/2020 6:17:35 AM PST by PGalt (Past Peak Civilization?)
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To: ModernDayCato

They grew up in Oregon, which has become a Mecca for the radical Leftists. Why did the Knapp children turn to alcohol, drugs and crime? Maybe look at the FAMILY. It won’t be anyone else’s fault.

6 posted on 01/12/2020 6:29:16 AM PST by originalbuckeye ('In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act'- George Orwell..?)
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To: ModernDayCato

>>First the problem: destruction of the working class.

This is a group of working class folks from Oregon they are focusing on. In that time from the environmental extremists basically killed logging and badly damaged farming in Oregon, which eliminated many middle class blue collar jobs. Yet somehow this is the fault of evil Big Business Capitalists? BS.

Another aspect of blue collar job loss has been outsourcing to China. Both parties have been involved in that, to our huge detriment. Trump is working to reverse it, but he’s working against 30 or so years of momentum and a lot of entrenched moneyed interests.

7 posted on 01/12/2020 6:31:22 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: ModernDayCato

I was stationed around Tacoma for 18 months in the early 1980s, and drove a lot around the region. From what I can remember about Portland, and suburban ‘zone’ within 20 miles of the city....there was a lot of upscale businesses being created, with money flowing in, and construction was booming.

I bumped into someone around 20 years ago, who grew up there and their description is that cocaine arrived, and with people enjoying the cash became this problem for the under-30 crowd. They went from a population of 350,000 to 560,000 in a 30-year period.

8 posted on 01/12/2020 6:45:45 AM PST by pepsionice
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To: BobL
They will create any artificial economy a big company asks for as long as the price is right.

That's old school. The new way is to get a foreign aid package deal/laundromat. Much more lucrative.

9 posted on 01/12/2020 6:53:42 AM PST by rawcatslyentist ( Kill a Commie for Mommie)
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To: ModernDayCato
term “deaths of despair” to describe the surge of mortality from alcohol, drugs and suicide.

is due to:

-habitual lack of focus where everything beyond the sensory-perceptual level is a passive, drifting, out of focus blur, haze, daze, and drifting
-habitual choice to not think with constant evasion of reality due to fear of reality, or laziness, or inability to think
-lack of virtue of rationality with the lack of connection between cause and effect (actions don't have consequences), and there is no need for long range perspective, and no need for principles to guide one choices of long range goals and actions

This is all due to mindlessness that is the result of decades of leftard loon government force and programming to control all of ones judgments and choices.

10 posted on 01/12/2020 7:00:35 AM PST by mjp ((pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, natural rights, limited government, capitalism}))
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To: ModernDayCato
Capitalism brings destruction. It brings change. Without capitalism we wouldn't have the vast social changes here. It's hard being a feminist or gay or a transgender in a poor country. People with money buy drugs, gamble their lives away, etc.

If one wants the 50's, head to Europe, n.korea. The past is gone, capitalism killed it.

11 posted on 01/12/2020 7:02:17 AM PST by Theoria (I should never have surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last man alive)
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To: BobL

We all make choices. Blaming personal choices on “society” is dismissive of the responsibilities that come with the exercise of free will. It started a lot longer that 50 years ago.

12 posted on 01/12/2020 7:02:19 AM PST by jagusafr
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To: ModernDayCato

Sticking more to the Knapps — without researching their lives (and accurate evidence is not going to be in a NYT article), I would venture to speculate that:
1) The kids started smoking marijuana and drinking at young ages.
2) Their public school was a dope marketplace.
3) They ingested the trash culture Hollywood uses to make billions out of “heroes” like “Snoop Dawg” and “Eminem”. Lots of video gaming and worthless layingabout.
4) When they first started drugs /drink, they stopped maturing, leaving them with the maturity and prudence of 10 to 12 year-olds.
5) As irresponsible, immature slackers with no foresight, they had no ambition, no desire to succeed at anything, no work habits, no developed skills, etc.
6) Leftist schools taught them that lack of success was someone else’s fault. Just read the NYT.
7) Being given a hot car at age sixteen gave the oldest boy complete access to any sort of vice.
8) Their addictions, petty crimes, and poor work habits made them unemployable, even if evil capitalists had job offerings going unfilled.

13 posted on 01/12/2020 7:03:42 AM PST by Chewbarkah
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To: ModernDayCato
Farlan, the oldest of the Knapp children, was in Nick’s grade. A talented woodworker, he dreamed of opening a business called “Farlan’s Far Out Fantastic Freaky Furniture.” But Farlan ended up dropping out of school after the ninth grade.

Why did he drop out? And if he was a high-school drop-out, why did someone give him a car for his 16th birthday?

Farlan’s daughter Amber seemed to be the member of the Knapp family most poised for success. She was the first Knapp ever to graduate from high school ...

Why? Why did NONE of the previous generations ever graduate from high school?

This article is full of statements that have me asking, "Why?" If the family was doing okay before, "The economy just seems to have stopped delivering for these people,” why wasn't anyone graduating from high school?

What happened to the Knapp children's father? After mentioning his line of work at the beginning, the authors don't mention him again.

Is there a conflict between condemnation of the "War on Drugs" and recognition of the harm that drug use has done to all these people? More generally, can we deplore and attempt to ameliorate the obvious dreadful outcomes of personally and socially irresponsible behavior while at the same time insisting that "consenting adults" should be able to do whatever they want without the slightest moral opprobrium? It seems to me that this approach is not working out well.

14 posted on 01/12/2020 7:08:05 AM PST by Tax-chick ("The diversity cult is destroying the very foundations of our civilization." ~ Heather MacDonald)
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To: ModernDayCato

Bill Gates made a foundation that would ultimately be contracted to government so that we the tax payer snd other billionaires would be forced to contribute to his self aggrandizing plan.

The guy and his wife are absolute lunatics. Not long ago they were sued by the DOJ for their more than shrewd practices and now they have this new image and want us to pay for their idea.

Yeah, ok, the hunris and arrogance of these people who are glorified farm fairs sales people is a joke. Money has gone up to their heads much like a guy coming out of Vegas rich thinks his brains did it.

15 posted on 01/12/2020 7:08:08 AM PST by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security in hatse:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
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To: BobL

Yep.....nail on head.

16 posted on 01/12/2020 7:09:32 AM PST by xp38
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To: Chewbarkah

Good observations.

17 posted on 01/12/2020 7:10:02 AM PST by Tax-chick ("The diversity cult is destroying the very foundations of our civilization." ~ Heather MacDonald)
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To: ModernDayCato

Destruction of Christianity is the core goal of Democrats.

18 posted on 01/12/2020 7:35:13 AM PST by stinkerpot65 (Global warming is a Marxist lie.)
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To: Tax-chick

Well said. Dysfunction is all about personal choices. Many people are able to deal with grief over the loss of parents without becoming addicted to drugs.

19 posted on 01/12/2020 7:36:16 AM PST by rbg81 (Truth is stranger than fiction)
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To: ModernDayCato
There's a lot to discuss in the original NYT article.

The first two paragraphs describe a family of happy children. This was a red-flag to me because I suspected the authors were setting-up a false narrative.

Later in the piece we read this:

In some ways, he was a great dad, for he loved his two daughters, Amber and Andrea, and they idolized him. But theirs was not an optimal upbringing: In one of Amber’s baby pictures, there’s a plate of cocaine in the background.

And this:

A local school official sighs that some children are “feral.”

What is described in the first paragraph is a false reality. A singular moment in time when these kids were happy for a fleeting moment does not tell us anything about the realities of this family.

Despite the 'warm and fuzzy' intro, the truth is this was a dysfunctional family on many levels.

To believe a moment of joy on a bus represented what this family was is an outright lie. This wasn't an 'Ozzie and Harriot' family. Even the real Ozzie and Harriot wasn't an 'Ozzie and Harriot' family.

You might look across the street and see the kids playing and laughing with each other but you have no idea what their life may be behind closed doors.

How often do you read an article about a crime and the neighbors and friends are quoted saying, 'They were a great family. Their kids played with my kids. I'm shocked by what happened'?

'All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. - Leo Tolstoy.

The first two paragraphs of this piece are a false narrative. We're led to falsely believe this was a happy family and that external forces ("society") are to blame for what went wrong.

What went wrong for this family happened within the family. It doesn't represent a broader shift in society and it's wrong to extrapolate their downfall to external factors.

The family failed not because society failed them but because the parents failed their children.

20 posted on 01/12/2020 7:37:38 AM PST by yesthatjallen
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