Aug 28, 2015 0
Aug 28, 2015 0
from Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish, A Tour of Our Decadent Civilization
Decadents want emotional rewards without commitments. As a result they are constantly unhappy. They pursue happiness as if it were a quality that could be permanently obtained through the right techniques, rather than a shifting response to the rigors of daily life. The more decadents do this, the more unstable they become, obsessively self-medicating and attempting to otherwise set the conditions of their happiness by controlling its application, and blaming others for their failure.
The decadent civilization senses inwardly that it has no future. It becomes obsessed with apocalypses. Its people are always fixated on the next great threat to their health individually and the next great disaster that will bring their civilization to its knees. While vigorous civilizations boldly stride forward into the unknown, decadents are nervous and unsure. They veer between comfort zones and ritualized displays of destructive behavior that accomplish nothing except the illusion of freedom.
Aug 27, 2015 0
From Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal, America Is So in Play:
On the subject of elites, I spoke to Scott Miller, co-founder of the Sawyer Miller political-consulting firm, who is now a corporate consultant. He worked on the Ross Perotcampaign in 1992 and knows something about outside challenges. He views the key political fact of our time as this: “Over 80% of the American people, across the board, believe an elite group of political incumbents, plus big business, big media, big banks, big unions and big special interests—the whole Washington political class—have rigged the system for the wealthy and connected.” It is “a remarkable moment,” he said. More than half of the American people believe “something has changed, our democracy is not like it used to be, people feel they no longer have a voice.”
I end with this. An odd thing, in my observation, is that deep down the elite themselves also think the game is rigged. They don’t disagree, and they don’t like what they see—corruption, shallowness and selfishness in the systems all around them. Their odd anguish is that they have no faith the American people can—or will—do anything to turn it around. They see the American voter as distracted, poorly educated, subject to emotional and personality-driven political adventures. They sometimes refer to “Jaywalking,” the old Jay Leno “Tonight Show” staple in which he walked outside the studio and asked the man on the street about history. What caused the American Civil War? Um, Hitler? When did it take place, roughly? Uh, 1958?
Both sides, the elites and the non-elites, sense that things are stuck.
The people hate the elites, which is not new, and very American. The elites have no faith in the people, which, actually, is new. Everything is stasis. Then Donald Trump comes, like a rock thrown through a showroom window, and the molecules start to move.
Aug 26, 2015 0
But what the hell — at this point there are a lot of people who would rather be angry and lose than happy and win. Some Republicans have contracted the same sickness much of the left has suffered for a decade — they’re only happy when they’re miserable and angry.
At some point Trump supporters will conclude the polls are rigged — but it will only be after he’s continued a downward trend. At that point they’ll stop believing polls and point out how wrong the polls were in 2012, 2014, and even the 2015 British election. Until then, the top line of the polls are to be believed and everything beneath the top line is a damnable anti-Trump conspiracy.
As much as we dislike politics, it is an art and a profession and one where experience and prior successes and failures have worth. While I like the idea of citizen participation, this applies to local elections and the Congress much more than to the highest office in the land. The skill sets in business and politics and the environment in which decisions must be made are very different.
I get it that 20% of the people are perpetually pissed off, but the Trump’s supporters have suspended any objectivity in order to propel this foolishness. There is nothing in Trump’s background to indicate he would support either conservative or Republican principles. He is absent of any humility or diplomatic tact, which should be key characteristic of a leader in such a position. The longer his campaign lasts the more damage he does to the GOP and whoever wins the nomination. If Hillary is replaced by Biden, a Trump candidacy will drive many soft Republicans (economic libertarians and social liberals) to the other side, or make them indifferent enough to stay home on election day. The best thing the GOP has going for it is Hillary as a front runner: she is so detested that the she should galvanize Republican opposition. The only thing that could screw this up is The Trump as the nominee; a very depressing thought.
Aug 25, 2015 0
from Kevin Williams at National Review, There is No Alternative,
Socialism has two relevant features: Central planning of the economy by political powers and the public provision of ordinary goods (as opposed to public goods such as national defense and judicial systems). This is distinct from welfare-state policies such as those found in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Sweden has a large and expensive welfare state, but it has a robustly capitalistic trade-driven economy that in many ways is more free-market than our own, with lower corporate taxes and fewer trade barriers. The difference between welfare programs and socialism is the difference between food stamps and the state-run groceries that were the bane of the common people’s existence in the old Soviet Union and in modern Venezuela. The former is imperfect, the latter catastrophic.
The price of free stuff ends up being terribly high. While Venezuela has endured food riots for years, the capital recently has been the scene of protests related to medical care. Venezuela has free universal health care — and a constitutional guarantee of access to it. That means exactly nothing in a country without enough doctors, medicine, or facilities. Chemotherapy is available in only three cities, with patients often traveling hours from the hinterlands to receive treatment. But the treatment has stopped. Juvenile cancer patients taken by their parents to the children’s hospital in the capital are being turned away because the treatments they need are no longer available. The scene is heartbreaking, but that’s the political mode of thinking: Declare a scarce good a “right” and the problem must be solved, regardless of whether that scarce good is any more plentiful than it was before.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/423011/venezuela-nicolas-maduro-socialism-economics
Debbie Wasserman Schultz was inept or unable to distinguish Socialism from the Democrats in a question from Chris Matthews. Perhaps she should read Kevin Williams.