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Works and Days

The Decline of Western Civilization in a Few Paragraphs

June 22nd, 2014 - 5:01 pm

We live in a deeply diseased society in which we care little about the victim and a great deal about the perpetrators. As the trial continues, we no doubt will soon hear that somehow Mr. Winslow was at fault, that for all the past restrictions and punishments given Ms. Vasquez she did not comply with many if any of them, and that there were probably even more drunk-driving incidents than the four reported. We are also going to hear all sorts of fables of what a good person she really is. Just wait.

In this regard, we are about to witness a legal circus, not a military tribunal, for a terrorist killer and Benghazi architect of the murders of four Americans.

We worry so much about poor Mr. Bergdahl, hardly at all about those lost or maimed trying to find him, or those who were similarly injured or killed trying to arrest the five Taliban killers we freed for Bergdahl, and nothing at all for the thousands that the five have killed or the myriads whom they may well kill again. Thinking of all of them wins us no psychological recompense in the way our cheap sympathy for Bergdahl does.

Ditto poor Lois Lerner, whom some on the left have portrayed as a victim. Not a word about the hundreds of lives made wretched by her imperious witch-hunts and audits.

Not a word about the legal immigrants who cannot enter the U.S., given the illegal aliens who cut in front of their line. We hear so much about the 90,000 children who were sent into the U.S., but nothing about the callousness of their parents, the conniving of their home governments, a deceitful Mexico that facilitated their transit, the Obama administration that vies for their political allegiance, or lots of killers and criminals who will enter the U.S. while the Border Patrol is distracted and busy as a social welfare agency.

A sign of a sick society is its cheap empathy and caring for the present, and its utter indifference to the past and future. We never much cared about the havoc that Ms. Vasquez did in the past and did not worry about the obvious trajectory of her future — so a judge lectured, a prosecutor dropped a case, and others let her out shortly before she did the same thing that she always had done.

We only know all that Ms. Vazquez is merely “negligent” because while being plagued with an addiction and still reeling from an unloving stepfather and a child molestation allegation, she killed a man with her car and fled the scene, though she only killed him by rear-ending him and thus was not “reckless” in doing so.

Anyone in law enforcement or the criminal justice bureaucracy could have long ago predicted Ms. Vazquez’s rendezvous with Mr. Winslow. He remains a forgotten victim that the state spent not a dime on, and who is now mute while Ms. Vazquez and her lawyer lecture us about “T-boning,” “addictions” and “stepfathers” — and slamming into and sending a Jeep down an embankment as proof of not being murderous.

(Artwork created using a modified Shutterstock.com image.)

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Meanwhile, I just received a $150 ticket from an aggressive, belligerent police officer for going 37 mph through a speed trap on a straight road in a sparsely populated, rural area, with an inexplicable 25 mph speed limit. Well, there is one explanation, of course: revenue collection from people enjoying quiet country drives in nicely maintained cars with out-of-state license plates. From the officer's attitude, you'd think I was a known, hardened criminal, instead of an Eagle Scout who was raised to be polite, to respect authority, and to obey the law. I agree fully with reedville's comment about "authority." It's about asserting power and collecting revenue these days. It's not about public safety, freedom, or productivity. I never imagined I'd say this, but I'm starting to feel like a chump for playing by the rules.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
What we are witnessing in our time is the total loss of the meaning, purpose, and real structure, i.e. the spiritual structure, of authority. "Official" authority now has no interest in promoting and preserving the productivity, freedom, and safety of society. It only exists to acquire more authority. This is done by destroying other legitimate authority wherever it exists, particularly the authority of the individual.

My wife works as an instructor at a community college as well as for a well- known social institution. In both cases the rules for the frontline teachers become ever more complicated and onerous. Those who try to exercise authority in the sense of imparting genuine practical knowledge in a results oriented way are exhausted and brought almost to their knees by bureaucratic requirements and restrictions. They cannot be allowed to function by their own common sense and by demanding that standards be met they believe are reasonable and necessary.

Poor Mr. Winslow represented the authority of a law-abiding, self-sufficient citizen who had a right to demand protection, justice, and respect. Too bad these are also an affront to the all-sanctimonious, all-aggrandizing Babel towers of authority we are coming into slavery to.

Tyranny is everywhere. The responsible, trustworthy, capable, self-governing person is a threat and an obstacle. His authority must be quashed.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
VDH, the way to make this all newsworthy...is to have a Winslow kill a Vasquez under the exact same circumstances.

To have 90,000 Western European children dropped off at the border and told we will simply pick up the tab.

To have the IRS audit the ACLU, ACORN/SEIU, Planned Parenthood ...AND turn over 1.1 pages about all their donors. Then "crash" all the computer evidence of these personal attacks and have the FBI refuse to turn away the illegal materials and the DOJ refuse to lift a finger to help the citizens under agency attack.

THEN you would have newsworthy stories. A dead Winslow at the hands of a drunk Vasquez or a Catherine Englebecht under totalitarian assault...simply isn't "news".

That's not a sick society, my dear cyberfriend. That's a dying one.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (138)
All Comments   (138)
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16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
In discovering your site I am sorry to have gone overboard VDH, but it is unfortunate that alcoholism is and personal demons have caused so many untimely accidents and deaths.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Arresting, fining, and jailing people for simply being drunk while driving is evidence of our declining culture. Literally arresting innocent people (people who drive safely and didn't hurt anyone or anything) because you think the first action of government is to protect us from ourselves, rather than jealously guard our liberty, why act so surprised, when that same "compassion" of trying to save people from themselves lets killers go free?
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Does it change the whole complexion of the case if the drunk driver was a "White Hispanic"?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow! I couldn't finish reading this article because I started feeling ill. The depths to which our 'democratic' countries are sliding is really starting to seem beyond salvation. We can continue complaining and pointing fingers at the Liberal politicians and looking for conspiracies (of which all is truthful) but it won't change the reality. This being that it's
the electorate asking for, and demanding, this current state of affairs.
Here, in Alberta, we have a long and proud history of conservatism.
Ontario, on the other hand, has, almost, always been liberal. They pay 3X the consumer taxes (at the til) then we do. 5% as opposed to 14% and this doesn't even touch the difference in Provincial income tax. After 13 years of a corrupt and bankrupt Provincial government (worse than California) the electorate voted in the same party 3 weeks ago, albeit with a new leader. My sister-in-law's excuse for her liberal vote is that they promised tax credits for child care.?!?! They are a 6 figure family income. Their government takes 10's of thousands of dollars from their personal ability to create a healthy economy and, in return for a few hundred dollars in tax credits, they vote for lies, wreck and ruin. I can buy a whole lot of child care for the 13% of tax money I save by living in a tried and true conservative province.
Alberta even has a 'Heritage Fund'. This is a Provincial account that our government uses to set aside funds for a rainy day. We could never be bankrupt. Our brilliant conservative forefathers instituted this 40 years ago and it's now worth +/- $15,000 per every man, woman and child.
I don't need liberal hand-holding. I want honest, fiscally responsible government that understands the concept of free enterprise and keeps their hands out of my pockets.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
VDH reminds me in his writings of The Diary of Anne Frank, except he can leave whenever he wants.
I'm beginning to doubt that he is objective and/or courageous.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hispanic surname = Protected class in California
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is the society the liberal left has created.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with everything VDH says - I wouldn't be here if I didn't highly value his thinking - with the exception of one detail. We live in an era where defense lawyers (some) perform acts of the blackest evil, such as advising clients to make false charges of abuse and passing laws to make it harder to convict their clients (thus endangering us all). But I do not think it is wrong for a defense attorney to make far-fetched arguments (as long as the facts are true - big if, I know) in order to get leniency for his client. The rest of the system is another story.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some of you might benefit from opening a book and learning about how the world works. For instance, we no longer have the democrat machine politics of yesteryear in New York, Chicago, New Orleans, New Jersey, and the USA under FDR. No more costa nostra running major cities. At least now we have the illusion of Democracy in most places in the US, and that illusion is enough to placate americans.
As for 'the society dying and diseased' all I have to say is get a grip on reality. We have made great progress against racism, homophobia, and societal ills of all manner (e.g. poverty). The US has a cleaner environment than ever before. We have a GOP electorate that thinks they are right on everything and everyone else is a traitor.
What we don't have is a better class of politicians, that may be the one segment of society that never changes.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Some of you might benefit from opening a book and learning about how the world works."

What is the name of that marvelous book, and who the talented author?

No more Democrat machine in Chicago? Do the name Rahm Emanuel strike a familiar note? As for New Yoikes, well just good luck is all one can say.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dear Jeff2010, you idiot. See my reply to Art Chance's comment below.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Keep your eye on the ball...she committed crimes and will likely be cut loose or receive a reduced sentence because some people are that easily fooled that prior victimization exonerates that person of any future crimes they may commit...that's part of the societal disease.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, we have the old Democratic machine politics "enhanced" by attorneys who misuse the civil rights laws to bully election workers. What we no longer have are the big Republican machines, and so the constituency for election fraud belongs to one party. The costra nostra was basically emasculated in the 60's. We also have a illegitimacy rate of about 50%, which is one of the few things that makes me really worried about America's future.

And we are making great progress towards misusing the idea of civil rights to marginalize traditional religion. Frankly, I would rather put up with the old soft discrimination of the "Gentleman's Agreement" days than suffer under that.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
We certainly haven't made any progress against the proliferation of idiots.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are, of course, referring to Jeff2010 himself. Someone so clueless that he doesn't realize he helped create the climate that Dr. Hanson is writing about. Prattling on about the "progress" we've made that has since been pissed away by the kinds of people he keeps voting for.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
So society is doing quite well and is making 'great progress', and yet the 'GOP electorate' thinks it is 'right on everything and everyone else is a traitor'?

But that healthy energetic can-do society you describe is precisely what conservatives want, and say so in every campaign! So could it be that they ARE 'right about everything' and is it possible that in that sense, 'everyone else IS a traitor'?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
That was all a totally sarcastic post right? Please tell me you were joking!!
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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