Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: American Twilight
Posted on 07/07/2012 11:21:19 AM PDT by neverdem
This weekend, I am thousands of miles from home in a remote and isolated part of the world with erratic communications and lack of basic services. No, not Washington, D.C. Things arent that primitive, thank God. Im in a rude Highland croft way up a far Scottish brae, enjoying the simple life by choice, rather than because the capital region of the global superpower is incapable of turning the lights back on within a week.
Which is by way of saying that news from the imperial metropolis has reached me in fits and starts. The other morning it was the intriguing tidbit that Chief Justice John Roberts had written both the majority opinion in the Obamacare decision and the dissent. He is literally his own worst enemy. Hes apparently the Mike Myers of the Supreme Court, able to play both Austin Powers and Dr. Evil, although it has to be said that he seems rather more at home as the bumbling swinger. If I understand correctly, the chief justice wrote the dissent back when it was the 54 majority opinion, and then, after switching sides, wrote the new majority opinion, and the four guys left holding the old majority opinion decided to leave it as is, presumably as a way of not so subtly underlining their total contempt for their squishy chief. Fascinating stuff, Im sure...
America is seizing up before our eyes, and the action necessary to reverse the sclerosis is stymied at every turn by rapacious unions, government micro-regulators, dependency-spreading social engineers, and crony capitalists who know how to weave their way through the bureaucracy...
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
>> All sorrts of debris from the left’s heyday must be repealed or reversed.
It would be nice if the corporate powers at PEPCO, PG&E, etc. could be at least as competent as government.
Perhaps this kind of system should be looked at as replacement of Obamacare.
Mark Steyn ping.
Freepmail me, if you want on or off the Mark Steyn ping list.
Thanks for the ping neverdem.
That’s what bugs me about the “debate” over health care in this country.
There are hundreds of national systems around the world, with some dozens of them working reasonably well, arguably better than the American system.
But conservatives somehow got locked into “conserving” the present IMO indefensible system, and liberals got locked into the notion that single-payer is the ideal with total government control of an ostensibly private system the fallback position.
And absolutely nobody looks at or discusses what might be better alternatives beyond these two or three positions.
For instance, in America health insurance is tied to your employment, which is the consequence of wage and price freezes during WWII. It makes no sense from any rational POV. Yet here we are stuck with it 75 years later.
Conservatives holler about keeping our freedoms, when the present system is shot through with government controls, not to mention private insurer rules, leaving precious little freedom for individuals to make their own decisions. We have an illusion of private control with a reality of burdensome regulations that negate most of that control.
Why not scrap the whole system and start from scratch? Look at systems around the world and design one that would work better here.
I like this man! Long may he write. However, a question keeps arising within me. He is only stating the written word. I am beginning to wonder. Has the time come that we should consider that the use of written and spoken; “debate,” “discussion,” “the expression of different points of view” has come to an end? The left is not convinced by our words, they continue to impose their agenda night and day: i.e. death to babies, buggery, vice, corruption, bribery, graft, lies and deceit, constant violations of our laws and Constitution,control of vital institutions such as schools and churches all to the detrement of the public etc. etc.
I don't know, has Steyn become merely an Oracle of Despair? I don't think this era could ask for a more eloquent epitaph writer, but I'd prefer he use some of that brainpower to suggest solutions for how to survive his predicted Armageddon.
There is no way we are going to repeal the welfare state, and there is no way we are going to muddle through, either. The tax/spend ratios are wildly off.
I also read Victor Davis Hanson's most recent article about the horror of life in occupied Fresno, CA. (Not far from Stockton, the bankrupt city mentioned in this article). Life is a constant struggle against petty crime, vandalism, copper-theft, uninsured Mexican drivers crashing into things, etc.
Are there really 11 MILLION illegals in California? Can anyone imagine a scenario where that state is retaken for Citizens of the USA? (And not Obama amnesty grantees, either!)
Secession would be a good idea, but no one is doing the leg work to make that happen. Our legislatures are gutless, none will ever vote for separation from the FedGov beast, too many goodies flow from there.
So, when you take a cold hard look, it doesn't look like there is any possible scenario where we turn things around. We gotta ride this baby all the way to the crash-and-burn point. Maybe something good can be resurrected on the other side of it.
I am starting to feel as if I am living in a Vandal state, perhaps on the frontier near Carthage around a.d. 530, or in a beleaguered Rome in 455. Here are some updates from the rural area surrounding my farm, taken from about a 30-mile radius. In this take, I am not so much interested in chronicling the flotsam and jetsam as in fathoming whether there is some ideology that drives it.
Last week an ancestral rural school near the Kings River had its large bronze bell stolen. I think it dated from 1911. I have driven by it about 100 times in the 42 years since I got my first license. The bell had endured all those years. Where it is now I dont know. Does someone just cut up a beautifully crafted bell in some chop yard in rural Fresno County, without a worry about who forged it or why or why others for a century until now enjoyed its presence?
The Horde is Here!
I completely agree.
At some point in time, some serious thought and dialogue going to need to be given formation of a truncated version of America. What scenario exists in which America, in its current 50-state form, can ever thrive again? Debt is blown well beyond any foreseeable generation’s ability to see its payoff, the moral fiber that held the country together is all but ripped to shreds as the populace descends into depravity, and people are more interested in securing benefits for themselves rather than taking steps and making the necessary sacrifices to bringing the country to a solid economic footing.
This, in addition to the deluge of illegals, most of whom have no intention of assimilating into Americanism.. instead many of them are preparing parts of the American landmass for an anschluess with Mexico... and nothing is stopping them.
I think God told us this was coming, what do you expect Mark to do?
Yep. But instead of a full bureaucracy for those who don't have the means to purchase health insurance, or for those who either can't purchase it because of pre-existing conditions, or it is prohibitively expensive, do it by govt. grant.
For everyone else, make it possible to buy insurance, not connected to an employer, with PRE-tax dollars, in a full free market, across state lines, etc. If they don't want to spend the money on insurance, make sure that when they incur health expenses, they're put on a payment plan until they pay off their debt. Maybe doing that enough times will encourage those who just don't bother, because they don't think they will ever need it, to finally get it.
Yes, because it means nothing to them.
Heard this monologue on Hannity form a guest host. It was imo the most Amazing monologue I’ve heard, a real call to arms:
And, to spite Arizona, California passed a law this week to make sure that the police aren’t allowed to call ICE for misdemeanor offenses. So even if Victor’s Vandals are caught, they won’t be sent back to Mexico, they can’t pay the fine because they have no “visible” source of income, and they can’t be put in jail because California’s prisons are already full.
Victor, and the rest of us, are screwed.
Looks like a great place to deposite 30 pieces of lead.
Which enumerated power of Article 1 Section 8 gives FedGov the power to give GRANTS to individuals to buy something with tax money that they can’t aford to buy with their own income?
Do you consider yourself a Constitutional Conservative? Or are you part of the “living, breathing” side?
You mean that they should have thought of burying the power cables decades ago? Who would have taken the earnings hit required by that? Who would give up their bonus merely to ensure that millions of customers would be safe from a freak storm decades later?
A typically brilliant illustration from Mark Steyn, as is this:
"A large Sweden is a contradiction in terms. It cannot be done, and the more determinedly you try to do it, the more you will preside over a ruined wasteland. The road to hell isnt paved at all, and the street lamps went out long ago."
The last major crash took well over 1000 years to rebuild from. In some places, it has NEVER recovered. The desire of “burn it all so we cal rebuild!” always misses that point. When the crash happens, it will take generations to rebuild.
The left must be razed and the ground salted. Or we shall all die.
You should post the article by Victor Davis Hansen as a thread of its own.
Yep. When you observe what the federal government (including the state-run media) does nowadays, you'll see that their prime directive is to prevent the perception of a "hard crash". If they can make it seem like a series of smaller crashes with no meaningful recovery after each one (sound familiar so far?), there's a chance that the people will never reach the insurrection flash point.
So far, their plan is working pretty well.
Is that home boy pic the local FOP?
The man can write: dependency-spreading social engineers... Is that great or what?
Hasn't been exercised since April 19th, 1775.
I’m looking at possible alternatives that would be supported politically. Do you honestly think that Americans will cut poor people off completely? Not ruddy likely, because most folks don’t think about the Constitution. Why not work with what we have? The set up with employers providing health insurance has been around for 70 years. Do you think that we’ll be able to change THAT within one presidency or a even a Senate term?
I get your point. Even our hopes and dreams are circumscribed by the horrible False American Republic that FDR created for us. It’s sad, pathetic really.
Mostly I don’t think we’ll be able to change anything, I think we’ll descend slowly, until we reach the level of Brazil, if we are lucky. South Africa if we are not.
I remember when that article was posted. Along with another where MArk Steyn commented on people driving onto his property to steal something made out of metal.
They act like they are looking for a job if confronted.
The worse part is the government is complicit in this mess. The more chaos and anarchy liberals can cause, the more rights they can strip away from a populous begging for it.
Supply is called forth by demand. Let's face it: there's a real and evergreen demand for pointing out (or claiming) that the current big-government system is rotten. There's not just one brand, but two. Those who believe that the system is rotten because the government hasn't clamped down hard enough can sign up with the viros and get their doomsaying through the global-warming claque. All of which sing their supper, as they've gotten mucho financing from the government as well as easy media placement and a prestige/influence that's a lot harder to earn without recourse to politics.
On our side, there's a huge demand for doom-and-gloom because it reinforces our hunches that big government entails misgovernment.
I don't know where all this is going to end up. Suffice it to say, widespread demand for doom-and-gloom does not say much that's good for the present order. The people whose fortunes and pride are tied in with the established order can keep muddling along by playing off one set of doomsayers against the other - you know, the old "two extremes" dodge - but the long-term consequence is a decline in confidence in the system as a whole. That doesn't bode well for the system, muddle along as it does.
When you're effectively cut off from power, you don't have the luxury of assuming that "liberty" equates to "having the muscle on my side" (as so many liberals do.) You have to think of ways of minimizing the effects of said muscle on your own life.
And that's quite a chore, given the pervasiveness of government. Needless to say, getting the government's muscle over to your side is not a feasible option, leaving aside the moral qualms that advantage would bring up. The present system's too rigged against that.
One way to cope is to bust your arse to get rich. This option only makes sense if you think that America is going to degenerate into a Latin-American-style republic, complete with a ruling class whose left wing is chock-full of guilt-ridden limousine liberals and whose "centre" is full of moneyed and well-connected people whose ambitions to remake society have outstripped their wallets. If this fate be America's, then poorer folks - including good Christian folks - will be little more than peons. "Democracy" will be little more than a chess game where the living chess pieces are flattered and bribed to not run over to the other player's side.
On the other hand, there's the option of the hardcore prepper. Given current Americanism, it's actually the harder road to take. The prepper route consists of to minimizing dependence on a rotten big-government-ridden economy, which entails living a poor and somewhat isolated life. Wealth should be pursued carefully, so as to minimize dependence upon a rotten system. The benefits of specialization are abjured for resourcefulness.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.This approach is hazardous if America's going to turn into Latin America. Preppers will become mere peons, and will be looked down on as such.
-Robert A. Heinlen, through his character Lazarus Long.
On the other hand: prepping is the way to go if the big-government system turns dysfuctional, if it falls apart. Should this happen, the preppers will have the needed skills to not only survive but also to rebuild society on a stronger basis.
Thirdly, there's the option of bailing out and becoming what Doug Casey calls a "permanent tourist." It resolves the dilemma personally, if you can afford or risk it, but it's not an option for the civic-minded. Nor is it for anyone who sees it as turning tail and running.
Of course, there's also the option of keeping up with the doomsaying and trying to find happiness in other areas of life. Confining the prepping to paying off the debts and keeping a store of food and cash in case of an emergency; grit the teeth at tax time, put up with regulators and revenue-seeking cops, draw strength through prayer, keep politicking in the hopes of winning, and otherwise make the best of a bad situation. This option actually plays in to the rulers' hands: they're already well-primed to see everything you guys point out as merely disguised complaints that can be bought off. The advantage with this approach comes with democracy: although the game is rigged as of now, that tilt will change should you win enough political battles.
The point I'm making is: eventually, the demand for doomsaying will turn into making life plans to cope with the expected fallout. We can't live on a steady diet of bitters.
The idea of burying the lines has been in the news. It was said (don’t know from where the info came), that burying the lines would add over $100 a month to the bills. What I am wondering is whether they could just be buried in the areas that have the huge old trees that seem to have caused the most problems. Don’t know what the percentage of the total unburied area is in big trees. I know that in downtown DC most lines ARE buried. There they have other problems, water and salt in the ground in winter, transformers burning out in the hot summer, etc.
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He's like the guy in a tuxedo, with the glass of champagne, making witty fatalist observations from the deck of the sinking ocean liner.
Do you honestly think that Americans will cut poor people off completely?
It’s not now nor has it ever been a matter of cutting poor people off completely. It may not even be a matter of cutting them off at all. Obviously, we’ve got to figure out what “poor” is and how to verify it case by case. Maybe it becomes a state issue. And it won’t be “Americans” who do the cutting but a Congress and executive branch designated by the voters to solve the problem. Simplistic? I don’t think so. So far, even the idealistic freshman House members have failed to make the case for responsible governing—especially where healthcare’s concerned. Insofar as returning to corporate healthcare plans, sure, fine. But we can also change the law—force competition among ALL carriers (like life, house, car insurance), cap damages, penalize both plaintiff and his counsel for wanton suits (not necessarily loser-pay all but perhaps loser & counsel pay all or something equally prohibitive for ambulance-chasers); automatic, graduated penalties up to and including loss of license & disbarment for fraud (including waste & duplication) by caregivers, hospitals, insurance carriers, drug- and health-equipment manufacturers AND THEIR counsels and accountants; encourage health professionals (docs, hospitals, clinics, drug-mfrs., etc.) in cooperation with state agencies and/or private charities to devise payment schedules (& price-lists) for uninsured, often emergency, patients. Little if any of this needs federal cash or supervision.
As VGH noted, the state of California can’t afford to arrest and convict felons, yet the criminals in charge of the legislature and their insane Moonbeam are passing the bullet train bill from nowhere to nowhere:
You Decide: Obama’s Really Cool Train vs. Keystone’s Real Cool Jobs
Townhall.com ^ | July 8, 2012 | Mark Baisley
Posted on Sunday, July 08, 2012 7:19:12 AM by Kaslin
Four California Democratic State Senators joined twelve Republican State Senators last Friday in voting against funding for a new high speed train and rail line. But that only brought the opposition vote to 43% in the lopsided Democratic California Senate.
California continues to set new records in accumulated debt for a single state, now in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Only the State of New York is able to top California and only in one area; debt per citizen.
There is one good argument for the California State Senate to have passed the bill approving $4.7 billion in spending. It obligates the other 49 states to send $3.2 billion of their money in matching federal funds for the project. The Obama Administration committed that level of funding in 2009 primarily from his economic stimulus project.
Interesting analysis. Thank you.
Thanks.That was an inspiring video!
Thanks yourself for bringing up the subject.
Keep priming me and I just might start blog-pimping /kidding