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Works and Days

Life in the Twilight

July 29th, 2013 - 12:57 pm

We are not publicly to confess other disturbing truths. The vastly inordinate rates of criminality in parts of the inner city cannot serve as an alternate exegesis to racism to explain why Americans of all races make the necessary adjustments of where, when, and how they navigate. That thoughtcrime is “racist.”

Yet it is an old thoughtcrime dating back at least to Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 paper titled “The Negro Family: the Case for National Action,” which predicted our present tragedies based on the government-fed dissolution of the black family through much higher than average rates of illegitimacy, single-parent households, and rates of criminality and incarceration. After that, Moynihan was persona non grata for two decades: not for lying, but for not lying. None of this is to deny the burdens of racism and the fumes of it that persist; only to suggest that a half-century after the start of the Great Society there is only so much government can do, or rather there is too much government can do — and we are not supposed to say that.

We suspect that if citizens were to do what too many illegal aliens do with some regularity — break U.S. immigration law (remember the stern faces of those customs officials who stamp your passport upon reentry?), forge documents, create false identities, or leave the scene of an accident — we would face felony charges and the end of careers. I take seriously those scary warnings on government documents that I sign and date and notarize “under penalty of perjury.” But why do millions not?

When I get hit by an errant motorist in my environs (and it has happened more than once), or have some one run off the road onto my property, the strange thing is not that I expect him to flee, leaving no ID, no registration, and no insurance behind — that is de rigueur. The odd thing is that the officer on the scene nonchalantly assumes the same thing, too. Yet his shrug does not hide the lie that if I were to do that, I would be charged with felony hit and run, while my victim that night would be contacted by a lawyer to sue me. We all know this and we all know, like good Eastern Europeans circa 1970, never to say that aloud. In Los Angeles, hit-and-run is kinda like jaywalking elsewhere.

The Ugly News

We accept all this, scuttling along like Eliot’s ragged claws, or we look downward to avoid the talking head on Orwell’s big screen.

I have a vague memory that Eric Holder and Barack Obama have resorted to divisive racial rhetoric (“typical white person,” acted “stupidly,” “punish our enemies,” “cowards,” “my people”), but I say vague because we seem to shrug as if to say: “so what?” Did they ever really say that at all?

That mind-washing might explain why, when on the eve of a racially charged trial, the president prejudicially weighed in, claiming racial affinity with the deceased victim. After the trial, at a time of heightened tensions and of an ongoing investigation by his own Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, he doubled down and did it again. He knew that we would shrug as if it were all expected, as if he were just Bill Clinton eyeing another intern.

So it is with the “phony” scandals. The beaten-down public sighs that four of its personnel were killed in Libya due to that awful “video.” So what that the IRS is now a necessary arm of the administration, or that reporters are monitored? Big deal — the NSA is an out-of-control octopus. Duh?

We are becoming like Eastern Europeans who were oblivious that the faces on the May Day dais had sometimes changed. In other words, the evil and Islamophobic Nakoula did it in Benghazi, the overzealous (but otherwise understandably progressive) Cincinnati rogue agents alone did the improper audits, the evil (Fox News) James Rosen perhaps deserved the monitoring — all enemies of social justice.

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Top Rated Comments   
"...but surely one catalyst is the sense that we increasingly are all living in an alternate universe, one of nodding “yes” when we know the opposite to be true.

In some sense, our whole way of life is changing. Wide-open, upbeat America is turning into a neurotic, look-over-your-shoulder society..."

I was born behind the Iron Curtain and my parents were freedom fighters who fought Soviet oppression and the fled with me to America. This is precisely how they described life under Soviet tyranny. And 52% of what I used to call my fellow citizens are bringing that tyranny here. And the fools think that it isn't tyranny because it's not goose-stepping and wearing jackboots. Little do they know that tyranny is still tyranny even though it's wearing Nike's and smiley face t-shirts.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Swedishlady has a point Fred, it's all about where you draw the line. I don't need to remind you that the Founders, who laid the basis for America's greatness intended for government to serve us, and shield us from the instruments of authoritarianism, not the other way around.

You have already probably been cataloged as a possible racist / terrorist for frequenting this blog. How do you feel about that? Do you trust this administration, which routinely lies, steals, provides arms to drug dealers etc., with knowledge of every intimate detail of day to day life (it's not just your internet activity... it's your physical location at any given time, what you had for lunch, who you spoke to that morning and what you said, what medications you're on... They use statistical analysis to predict your behavior patterns, and can even funnel you along certain decision making pathways... And that's only the beginning. The analytics made possible by PRISM and other databases allow for unprecedented levels of control by the government-corporation nexus. Do you really think it's a good idea for them to have such power? What is the historical precedent for your optimism?

I am not naive, I understand that Islam currently poses an existential threat to our civilization. But many of us feel that we should spend our time focused on making our enemies fear us, rather than institutionalizing our own fears, and curtailing our own freedoms. This apparatus was built in secret, without our consent. This is the mark of a technocracy that is out of control. By doing this in secret, government has placed it's objective of control above our sovereign authority, which is actually the fundamental value that it is there to protect, not security. By alerting us to these developments, Snowden did us all a favor.

Remember what old Ben Franklin used to say: “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.”
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Still, the human psyche is a strange thing. It needs to feel transcendent, either spiritually or by confidence in children or through the reputation of a life lived well. Crush that spirit through government obfuscation, and the people become the walking dead of a dreary Warsaw Pact Budapest or Prague, given that there is no hope for those who follow.

The soul appreciates equality, but not of the enforced kind that destroy individual liberty. Insult the voter, call him names, regulate him, lecture him about his various -ologies and -isms, regiment his youth with proper thinking, curb his speech, and he becomes a mute, a dead soul, a Brit in about 1955, a Hungarian in 1956, a Russian in about 1970, or today’s Cuban.

To keep America exceptional, we need eccentrics, contrarians, doubters, politically incorrect truth-tellers. Take them away, and we are a nation of head-nodders like most other states."

The above is my favorite part of the article. A good friend in Russia, who lived most of her adult life in the Stalin and Brezhnev eras, once told me with tears in her eyes that her generation had not been able to be an active force for good, the best they could do was live quietly and not be an active part of the repressive state. (She herself declined a coveted invitation to join the communist party.) In East Germany they referred to this attitude as "internal emigration."

I transacted some business at the bank the other day, and as I answered the various questions for the computer records I felt that I was giving this information about my life and finances directly to Big Brother. Eerie. I remembered how thrilled I was to leave behind Russia's oppressive bureaucracy in the 90s--it was just a remnant of the communist era then but still frightened me--and realized that I am now afraid of the American bureaucracy.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (69)
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And the head of NASA was told to make Muslims feel good about their contributions to science (how many strokes does it take for an average weight man, with a steak knife, to saw off the head of another average weight man....I guess!) and what has that accomplished? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
The downside of diversity

A Harvard political scientist finds that diversity hurts civic life. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings.

continued...

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/08/05/the_downside_of_diversity/
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
We are being led by The UnAborted.

Passing through a leftist birth canal is a magic trick. The Womb Tomb that carries the irritant known to previous generations as "a baby", it becomes crystallized why they think of themselves as chosen by fate.

Never wrong, never challenged, never humble, never held accountable...The UnAborted leftist takes every truth as inconvenient...be he/she was the "spared inconvenience".

Reality for The UnAborted is not merely virtual...that would require a word too closely associated with virtue. Gamification of their world allows them to choose an alternate path to a different set of chits. If you don't like your reality...don't live it.

The UnAborted are hedonistic and self-absorbed because they are their own personal messiahs. The effects they have on the rest of us...is immaterial. In fact, they have the inverse messiah impact on the world.

They sin for our deaths.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Adventures in conservative intellectualism:

"The United States of America is..."
* hushed pause *
"... collapsing!"
* thunderous ovation *

"He's so right!"
"The US is a disaster!"
"Weren't the 50s great?"
"Americans are the worst!"
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why didn't you stand up for Derb when he was PURGED from National Review? But you just piled on.

Do you really think Derb should be branded with the scarlet R? Do you think Derb IS a Racist, or a politically incorrect truth-teller, a bright eccentric, a very smart contrarian?

You are a great disappointment VDH!
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
every day, America stumbles closer and closer to becoming the Poland of Gomulka, the E Germany of Ulbricht, the Romania of Ceaucescu, and the Egypt of today
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Vic, just because you have chosen your minimalistic life in rural Ca, why do you kill an otherwise good analysis with the slam on my fancy imported car? Nothing else in my life suffered as a result of my choice of car, yet you set out to make someone like me feel wrongly for earning and selecting a product of my choice. Your line is akin to an Obama speech......
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Adding tidbit to VDH's "there are many causes of depression...." look how Wall street elite ship all our jobs over to Atheist Communist Capitalist Red China and now even Thomas Friedman is opening his eyes to vision of the future in his column today joined at him with atheist nation.
I implore you to unite the three Abraham faiths in USA before the generals in the military to take over to protect the 1% from the 99% as they did in Egypt 99% when the 99% wake up to how the 1% sold all their jobs overseas
How bad it will get who know? Will this become the greatest tribulation the world has ever seen written in Matthew 24 ,Luke 21,Mark 13 in God's word the Bible
Just as George Bush was blamed for the great recession that began in 2007/2008 from Wall street greed. Mitt Romney and the Christians would be blamed if he was elected from being joined at hip with china and the coming downfall so it seems
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
footnote
Thomas Friedman now showing his dobuts on China today

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/opinion/friedman-revenge-of-the-mistresses.html?hp
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
America hasn't been wide open and upbeat since 1963.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
First, you have to convince the youtes and the usual ‘useful idiots’ that they don't have a future in the ‘old school ways’ of studying hard and working hard, like the older generations before them. That their only hope comes through a complete change.

Chanel all the youth's passion and energy towards massive destruction of the traditional pillars of our society, instead of the constructive ways to build up upon our existing foundation.

Yep, what we are seeing today is the Palestinization of USofA. Such a pity that so many fall for it, and their utter conviction that THEY will come out on top after the conflict.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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