Let America Be America Again

Thursday, July 26, AD 2012

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Robert Heinlein

Scott Brown is a largely pro-abort RINO, but he has come up with a campaign commercial in the above video which is devastating both to Obama and his opponent in the Massachusetts Senate race, Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren.  Warren came up with the business bashing meme that Obama disastrously latched on to, and Brown is ramming it down their throats.  By far the best campaign commercial I have seen this year.

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11 Responses to Let America Be America Again

  • Watching Obama, it occurred to me that he is playing up to the envy, greed and other lower instincts of the people. Sowing discord, chaos and promoting vice is not human. It is un-American.
    Here is one: “The duty of a PATRIOT is to PROTECT his country FROM its government.” Thomas Paine

  • I agree that this encapsulates what this election is all about.! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  • I am reminded of last Sunday’s first reading, in which Jeremiah warns about the shepherd who allows the flock to wander away from each other. That man in the White House wants to break up the flock that is America, pitting one against another. Envy and jealousy are not an ethical basis for public policy.

  • It is precisely that, and ONLY that theme that will send the President packing.

    Hammer the economy theme, hammer it, hammer it, hammer it.

    Bring every discussion back to it.

    If the President wants to talk about child birth, point out the plummetting birthrate due to the economy. If he wants to talk about immigration, point out the 23 percent unemployment among African Americans. If he wants to talk about cooperation in Washington, point out the failed bi-partisan stimulus bills.

    Hammer it, hammer it, hammer it.

  • There’s a trailer – speaking of America being America.

    http://abyssum.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/a-must-see-movie/

  • The Heinlein quote is both wrong and foolish.

  • The Heinlein quote is historically accurate Art and completely wise.

  • No, it is not. I am reading him literally even though it is a rhetorical flourish, because it miseducates.

    You had during pre-modern eras periods of advance and retreat in levels of prosperity. Robert Heinlein did not have a comprehensive understanding of why this occurred; serious students of economic history are uncertain about that. See Philip Daeleader on late antiquity and the early medieval period.

    As for the modern period, catastrophic retreats in levels of prosperity are generally coincident with wartime. You also see it in economies whose measurable aggregate production is heavily dependent on net exports of minerals and their national income fluctuates a great deal according to the terms of trade.

    You could say you saw it in Soviet Russia after the 1st World War and much of Eastern Europe after the 2d. You still have to try and disentangle the effects of the war from the effects of the abuse of manufacturers, financiers, merchants, artisans, and peasants.

    It should be noted that proprietors are not a ‘tiny minority’. They are certainly atypical, but the number of people in business for themselves full time is at any one time in the seven digits in this country. Being a notable in industrial history, whether your name is Carnegie or Jobs, is rare. The thing is, the benefits attributable to innovation in a discrete economic sector are often surprisingly small. It is the collective effect of many tiny efforts which comes to matter.

    We are not living in Roumania ca. 1946. The current regime’s regulatory practices and ham handed capital allocation will one supposes cause such injuries as the economy gradually comes to a point of stagnation. That modern industrial civilization will disappear is something we can be fairly sure will not occur. That 25 years worth of economic improvements will evaporate (as happened during the period running from the fall of 1929 to the spring of 1933) is also unlikely (and most likely to arise from trouble in the financial sector). The real threat is can be seen in the history of Argentina – decade after decade of minimal net improvement punctuated by political and economic crises which never seem to resolve anything in a salutary direction.

    Heinlein’s is an aynrandesque reverie and not true to our situation.

  • Like most disasters that confront humanity Art, poverty, after a certain technological level is achieved, is usually man made. Recent examples I can think of off the top of my head would include the expulsion of the Indians from Uganda and the expropriation of their property in 1972 which was a disaster for the Ugandan economy. Zimbabwe, one of the more agriculturally fertile regions in Africa, is now subject to recurrent threats of famine due to the fecklessness of the government of Robert Mugabe. The lamentable history of Communism is an example of Heinlein’s statement in action, except where there is a turning away from the doctrines of Marx as has occurred in China. Cuba is a prime example of what happens when a country drives away its business class.

    In our country there are complete fools, most if not all located in the Democrat party, who would love to give further proof to Heinlein’s observation. The Occupy movement has degenerated into bad farce, but the Democrats were initially quite happy with their 99%-1% jeremiads. California is a prime example of what economic quicksand an anti-business and anti-growth mentality can produce.

    A pro-business mentality is a rare thing in global history, and governments have often adopted policies that have destroyed prosperity. In the Church, sadly, it is not rare to see troubling manifestations of this type of anti-free enterprise mentality:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/10/27/a-fisk-of-towards-reforming-the-international-financial-and-monetary-systems-in-the-context-of-global-public-authority/

    No, I think Heinlein is correct.

  • Your two examples include one of the most lunatic autocrats of the post-war period and another president-for-life quite possibly mad from tertiary syphilis. These are not common problems.

  • I would say Obama is a common problem Art. Oh wait, you weren’t referring to him? 🙂

24 Responses to The Ron Paul Zone

  • If Huntsman is against Paul, he must be doing something right.

  • Ron Paul 2012!!!!

  • So Hamas, et al hate us because we are so great and free and so gosh darn good, not because we have been over there for decades, bombing them, setting up and removing puppet governments, etc., etc.? None of that has anything at all to do it with.

    And they don’t want bombs because the rest of us have them, but because??????

    Whether we should let them have them, whether we can effectively prevent their obtaining them, and how, are several separate questions. But do you seriously doubt they want them because we have them, and they want to level the playing field? N. Korea proved Paul right. So, because Paul is correct about these issues, he is therefore crazy.

    Whatever. If Romnich Gintorum is the best the GOP can do, we are in for another four years of the big O.

  • “So Hamas, et al hate us because we are so great and free and so gosh darn good, not because we have been over there for decades, bombing them, setting up and removing puppet governments, etc., etc.? None of that has anything at all to do it with.”

    Nope, it really doesn’t. Hamas is merely one of many radical factions throughout the Islamic world vying for power. Their mortal enemies are Fatah and Israel, both of which would be in existence with or without the US. Contra Doctor Delusional, a US pull out from the Middle East would not lead to peace but would set the stage for a convulsive series of wars that would have a major adverse impact on the world and the US. The main problems in the Middle East are that Islamic nations have terrible relations with all non-Muslims, as demonstrated by the fact that wherever they abut non-Muslim states, relations tend to be violent and cycle between hot and cold wars, and that internally Islamic states are almost entirely noted by either extremely repressive regimes or chaotic violence. (Turkey is the one semi-exception to this rule.) Ron Paul of course has little knowledge of any of this and is ideologically fixed upon the idea that the world’s ills could be cured simply by US isolation.

    In regard to Obama, I think virtually any Republican candidate can beat him, except for Ron Paul who would do worse than Goldwater in 1964.

  • On top of what Donald says, C Matt glosses over the other reasons that Ron Paul is deemed crazy. Now perhaps he thinks it’s acceptable for candidates to cozy up to individuals who think 9/11 is an inside job, or who poses conspiracy theories about the Bildeberger group or the formulation of a New World Order, or who writes (or has written in his name) newsletters that spout some of the vilest, nuttiest things one can imagine. The rest of us just point and laugh.

    And I’ll say it one more time. Gary Johnson: same basic philosophy but without the nuttiness. Why wouldn’t you prefer that guy over Ron Paul unless you agree with Ron Paul’s more far-out speculation?

  • To an extent, they *do* hate the West for legal/cultural reasons. Normally, I might be inclined to agree with a reasoned critique of libertine America, but Sayyid Qutb, one of the leading lights of the Muslim Brotherhood, was complaining about America’s immorality back in the late 40s. Before the founding of Israel and the development of America’s massive footprint in the Middle East.

    Paul’s views of the Muslim world are as unreflective and simplistic as those whom he criticizes, just from the opposite side of the coin. Santorum likely overhypes the dangers of sharia law, but Paul can’t be bothered to consider it.

  • The reason one might choose Paul over Johnson could have to do with Paul’s prolife record, his years of consistency, or a preference for Austrian Economics over Chicago economics. Or the fact that Johnson is a terrible public speaker. Also, as for who beats BHO, Paul performs best or second best again him in every major poll, so lets quit with that nonsense.

  • lso, as for who beats BHO, Paul performs best or second best again him in every major poll, so lets quit with that nonsense.

    Internal polls conducted on Ron paul websites do not constitute major polls.

  • There has been precisely one poll that I can recall showing Ron Paul beating Obama. Most polls show Obama beating Paul by between 5-13 points. The only Republican candidate who does well in current match ups against Obama is Romney.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/elections/#

  • So Hamas, et al hate us because we are so great and free and so gosh darn good, not because we have been over there for decades, bombing them, setting up and removing puppet governments, etc., etc.? None of that has anything at all to do it with.

    None of this has anything to do with it, cmatt, because the items on your list are unknown to contemporary history. The United States has had a naval presence in the region for nearly 70 years (and just about everywhere else, while we are at it), but the bases were to be found in various NATO countries, in Kenya, and in Diego Garcia. We had air bases in Turkey. The object of their attention was Soviet Russia, not any country in the Near East or North Africa. Bar a brief foray in Lebanon in 1958 (consented to by that country’s government), we had no ground troops in the region until 1990. You will recall why they were there: the government of Iraq conquered and despoiled a neighboring state in a maneuver to triple its proven reserves of oil (among other objects). The bombing undertaken then, and in the no-fly-zone subsequently erected, was to contain the injuries inflicted by one group of ‘them’ (Saddam Hussein and his cousins’ regime) on various other ‘them’s’ (Kurds, Shi’ite Iraqis, and Kuwaitis). No government which has ruled any country in the Near East, North Africa, or Central Asia at any time since 1945 can properly be referred to as a ‘puppet’ of the United States government; the only governments ever removed by the United States were Saddam Hussein’s in Iraq and the Taliban’s in Afghanistan and the only one’s we ever assisted in removing were dregs of Najibullah’s regime in Afghanistan and the dregs of Mohammed Mossadeq’s in Iran. The only governments ever installed by the United States were the restored Kuwaiti emirate, Ayad Allawi’s provisional ministry in Iraq, and Hamid Karzai’s in Afghanistan, and the latter two installations were undertaken in consultation with a broad array of political notables in those countries.

    And they don’t want bombs because the rest of us have them, but because??????

    I would refer you to an article composed many years ago by Richard Betts and published (as I recall) in Foreign Policy. Its title was “Paranoids, Pygmys, Pariahs, and Nonproliferation”. The gist of it was that sensible 3d world countries seldom aspire to acquire nuclear weapons because such weapons deliver force so uncalibrated that they are inutile for most intents an purposes and that even when they have a conceivable use they are undesirable to possess because they draw heat from larger powers. “The rest of us” do not have nuclear weapons. A small corps of great powers engaged in an international chess match have had them, along with one curiously ambitious country (India), and two others both curiously ambitious and anxious about the weapons held by larger powers to which they were antagonistic (China and Pakistan). Israel supposedly has them. Israel, unlike nearly any other country in the world, qualifies as a paranoid (with enemies), pygmy, and pariah; it has also been very careful not to make a public point about any stockpiles it possesses. (While we are at it, Iran has had antagonistic relations with Israel for 33 years for the simple reason that it preferred it that way).

    But do you seriously doubt they want them because we have them, and they want to level the playing field?

    Yes I seriously doubt. They cannot level the playing field with the United States or Russia. Our stockpiles and arrays of missiles are too large. The weapons to which they aspire are not much good except to obliterate Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (or to subcontract to a terrorist group to obliterate some other occidental city). Iran has painted a target on its back quite deliberately, and that is something common-and-garden third world countries commonly do not do.

  • The weapons to which they aspire are not much good except to … subcontract to a terrorist group to obliterate some other occidental city).

    Which is all they need. They do not need to be able to conduct full scale nuclear war. In fact, they don’t even need to actually have a weapon or actually get a subcontract. Seems mere rumors or illusions of it are enough to send us into a tizzy and run headlong to our own destruction.

    Although I still believe Paul to be the best candidate, I agree Rick S is an improvement over Romney on domestic social issues.

  • Why wouldn’t you prefer that guy over Ron Paul unless you agree with Ron Paul’s more far-out speculation

    Mostly because Paul is running for the GOP nomination, of which this post is the subject, and Johnson is not.

  • Seems mere rumors or illusions of it are enough to send us into a tizzy and run headlong to our own destruction.

    Can you elaborate on the sequence of events you imagine?

  • I cannot stand the hypocrisy of so-called “pro-life yet pro-war” Catholics who relegate Ron Paul and his supporters to the “looney bin.” Catholics should be the first to listen respectfully to ideas that counter the status quo, and the last to resort to ad hominem attacks.

  • Lili you just called Catholics who do not support Ron Paul “pro-life yet pro-war” and then you ended by bemoaning ad hominem attacks. As Socrates noted, an unexamined life is indeed a tragedy.

  • I cannot stand the hypocrisy of so-called “pro-life yet pro-war” Catholics who relegate Ron Paul and his supporters to the “looney bin.”

    A dismissive disposition toward Dr. Paul or his supporters may be unfair. It is difficult to understand how it is ‘hypocritical’ (and is it really your contention that just war is an impossibility).

  • Mr. McClarey, with all due respect, I do not see how reading my comment can make you assume that I lead an “unexamined” life. I consider that a hasty bit judgmental. ; )) I never intended to portray all Catholics who do not support Ron Paul as pro-war. I was mostly commenting on the flippant “Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs” rhetoric (I still love you, Tito Edwards!) Those of us who do not deem every last “police action” a just war should not be labelled “Coo Coo.” Sarah Palin makes a very important point about not alienating Ron Paul supporters. I personally believe that you cannot be authentically “pro-war”(meaning being the aggressor towards another country, not the defender of your own) and “pro-life”, because war is the greatest sin against charity towards your neighbor.

  • “pro-war”(meaning being the aggressor towards another country, not the defender of your own) and “pro-life”, because war is the greatest sin against charity towards your neighbor.”

    My Uncle Ralph who died recently was a Protestant, but he carried a rosary given to him by a Catholic family when he was in the Army and on his way to fight in the Korean War. He carried it through some bloody battles in the hills of northern South Korea. Now Ron Paul regards the Korean War as an unjust war because America was not directly attacked. My Uncle Ralph always told me that fighting so that the people of South Korea would not fall under Communist rule was the best thing he ever did in his life that didn’t directly involve his family. I agree with my Uncle Ralph on that score, and I don’t think that made him pro-war. In fact I can’t think of anyone I have known who was more anti-war than Uncle Ralph who had seen up close and personal the death, misery and folly of war. He simply understood that sometimes there are things worse than war.

  • I personally believe that you cannot be authentically “pro-war”(meaning being the aggressor towards another country, not the defender of your own) and “pro-life”, because war is the greatest sin against charity towards your neighbor.

    Your troops have to move forward every once in a while, if they are not engaged in a completely futile exercise. That aside, for American policy-makers, the actual choice has generally not been whether or not to commence a war, but whether or not to have American troops in combat in an extant conflict.

  • One thing that I do wish people would stop doing is calling Paul an isolationist. Let us not forget that George W. Bush won his election on a platform of avoiding foreign entanglements, and not until 9/11 did his position change. Wishing that he were not so liberal in our use of military forces doesn’t make Paul an isolationist. From his rhetoric, he appears to be nothing like an isolationist. What he seeks are peaceful relationships with other countries, based not upon the force of empire, but the peace of trade. This is not something to scoff at. For over 100 years, this was the defining philosophy of the U.S. in foreign relations. One might disagree with his philosophy, but why it requires belittling I cannot possibly fathom. If a person cannot argue a position without ad hominem, where is the strength of his argument?

  • Lizzie, Ron Paul can call himself whatever he wishes, but the reality of his foreign policy is the same. The US can hunker down behind the Pacific and the Atlantic in Fortress America and be safe and secure while the rest of the world goes to hell. He is the ideological descendant of the America Firsters prior to World War II who were perfectly content to have Hitler and Hirohito emerge triumphant in the War so long as the US could sit on the sidelines. Such a foreign policy is often immoral and always deeply unrealistic in the modern age, modern defined as after the Wright Brothers developed heaver than air flight.

    His emphasis on foreign trade is at war with his isolationism. Nothing creates foreign entanglements quicker than foreign trade and the foreign investment that such trade inevitably creates. Paul wishes to impose a libertarian fantasy world on stubborn reality, and like all utopian projects it is doomed to come a cropper and quickly.

  • One thing that I do wish people would stop doing is calling Paul an isolationist.

    It appears to bother you because you sense it is pejorative. It is a passbly accurate descriptor, however.

    What he seeks are peaceful relationships with other countries, based not upon the force of empire, but the peace of trade.

    1. There is no empire. 2. The portfolio of dependencies we once had was acquired during the era when American foreign policy was characterized by … hemispheric isolationism. 3. An aspiration to enhance trade relations (the policy of every administration since 1933) has not been a driver of the use of military force in the last seventy years.

    If a person cannot argue a position without ad hominem, where is the strength of his argument?

    The term ‘ad hominem’ does not mean what you think it means.

  • “For over 100 years, this was the defining philosophy of the U.S. in foreign relations.”

    The Monroe Doctrine argues otherwise.