Friday, October 20, 2006

The Times They Are Confusing

Hysteria is mounting as the final run-up to the US elections continues. Such is the immediacy of today’s communication systems that the impression is given that every event has two outcomes: dire and worse. Taking time to think things through, at least among the general population, is not something that people enjoy.

George Will recently noted this trend and described it as an entitlement syndrome. He seemed to be saying that the current crop of US citizens is so used to instant gratification that almost nothing can really satisfy them. He posits that this is the reason for discomfort in times of great prosperity; essentially the attention span of three year olds. This is a good way of looking at the situation.

What else can explain the childish behavior of ultra liberals and ultra conservatives? For example, the Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas is certainly not representative yet they are convinced that all but they are going to Hell (and the sooner the better). The leftists have the same attitude without the religious overtones. This view of “my way or the highway” limits discourse in a way that Bill Clinton gave lip service the other day at Yale.

It is commonplace that everything is about the “Gotcha” and very little is about the substance of debate. This is partly due to the very poor US public education system, and partly due to the self-indulgence made possible by the incredible prosperity of the last 40 years. Bigger houses, cars, vacations, wardrobes, and sexual excesses have society spinning, looking for stability which is rejected when found. One solution for the future, as the present is lost, may be home schooling which is a growing phenomenon. Should this trend continue the Education Lobby, and Teacher’s Union will strive for legislation outlawing learning at home.

The outlandish always gets attention if only for prurient interest making watching news broadcast an intellectual challenge. The ability to cipher what is actually important is a skill that today’s children must develop if they are to have any hope of critically analyzing their circumstances.

It is paradoxical that demagoguery is actually easier in times of prosperity and good communications systems.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Clinton Still Phony

Bill Clinton is a very funny man. During a speech at Yale Billy complained about the lack of real intellectual political arguments during the current election season. According to Clinton the Republican Party is hostage to extreme religious fanatics and by extension so is the US government for the time being. The hypocritical Republican Party is self-righteously moralistic while at the same time is “developing new weapons and cutting taxes.” This example of Clintonian logic is supposed to prove the innate incapacity of Republicans to operate in the best interests of the American public.

Of course this is Orwellian double speak and Clinton knows it. However it is more revealing than perhaps he would have liked. The single obligation of the Federal Government is to ensure the safety of the nation; all else pales in comparison. Clinton’s remarks make it clear that the Democrat Party will appease our enemies to the point that disaster strikes and will damage the economy by raising taxes. The ideology of the left, which Clinton wants the public to think doesn’t exist, will create more problems than it will solve; if it will solve any. Clinton bemoans the “politics of personal destruction” while encouraging his fellows to indulge in just that. Ms. Macaskill, the Democrat candidate for the Senate from Missouri claimed that “George Bush let people die on New Orleans rooftops simply because they were black.” Where is the intellectual portion of that discussion?

Democrat bloggers assert that George Bush and Condi Rice are sex partners and that is the only reason she got the job as Secretary of State. How does that thinking work in the best interests of the citizenry? Bill Clinton and the rest of his followers have no respect for anyone who disagrees with them and consider the mass of Americans too stupid to take care of themselves. How in the world did the nation survive without them?

It will be an interesting, if dreadful, time should the Democrat Party regain power in Washington DC. First there will be the crowing about the victory, then the promise of revenge for the years they were out of power, and finally two years of disruption and inaction while they attempt to impeach George Bush. Contrast that prediction with the actual behavior of the Bush administration upon taking the presidency. When the Democrats take over juvenile delinquents will be in charge of the most powerful nation on earth. Good Luck!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Reality Where Is It

The immediacy of communications is causing life to be more stressful. 24-hour cable news, no wonder Ted Turner is a drunk, makes one wonder “Where did all these weird criminals come from?” Twenty years ago there were horrible crimes no doubt but are there more today in absolute terms? There are 30,000 sex offenders living in Florida, it’s amazing that they can be counted, but why are there so many? It makes one think of a pile of cockroaches scattering when the kitchen light is turned on.

A family is murdered and left on the side of the road no more than 50 feet from the traffic whizzing by at 80 miles per hour. They turn out to be Hispanic and no one knows where they came from or who killed them. Are such crimes the product of massive illegal immigration from a country where the culture of death and corruption makes such acts commonplace? The best thing for a person desiring a calmer life is to take the news in small doses, but that is very difficult.

Almost every public place has the cable news or weather channel blaring. Their omnipresence is simply accepted as is the landscaping around the shopping center. What is the news anyway? Is it the empty presidential podium which occupies the screen as the breathless announcer informs the public that the President will soon be there? Or is it another mundane police chase winding its interminable way through Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, or Detroit?

Americans have become television junkies. What is it about American culture that encourages such compulsive behavior? Cocaine, heroin, pot, amphetamines, and cable news are bad habits that are apparently unbreakable. Alcoholism is a universal problem, every country and society has felt its impact, but these other, modern phenomena’s are very different. Their insidious impact has created a society that is inured to crime, war, carnage, incidents whose shock value has been degraded.

To make themselves feel alive, people turn to reality television shows including the bloody Ultimate Fighter series. The medium of television can not live up to its potential until its users live up to theirs. One can subscribe to cable or satellite and have 500 channels of mostly nothing. The purveyors of such drivel are seeking an audience and will continue to experiment with the most sensational lurid programming possible in hopes of selling more ginzu knives.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Conservative v Liberal

The word liberal was initially used to define a British political trend during the 19th century the hope was that the term was demonstrate a positive vision for the future opposed to conservatives who wished to preserve that status quo. Since those halcyon days liberalism has become a culture of death and denial. This trend is so obvious that now the adherents of this ideology have taken to a new term: Progressive. Unfortunately the behavior remains the same.

Recently, at Columbia University in New York City, a mob of Progressives stormed the stage where a guest speaker was attempting to start a dialogue about illegal immigration. The disgraceful behavior of Progressives is nothing new and it seems that no matter the chronological age of these people their maturity level never increases. Of course they are big ACLU fans; another Progressive organization getting fat off the tax dollars of the US, protection of free speech is a supposed goal of that group. Apparently freedom only flows one way.

The United States is missing approximately 40 million citizens; the number of abortions since 1973, and for that reason the Progressive agenda of Social Security and Medicare are going by the boards. There are not and will not be enough workers to pay the bills.

The upcoming elections will be interesting as neither conservative nor progressive has a clear majority and with good reason. Conservative thinking in the US has been abandoned for a weak mix of strong military and pathetic leadership. The United States is a very prosperous place and it is a spiritual wasteland. The gradual corruption of Western ideals has substituted false guilt as a philosophical basis for life.

The fear of American Balkanization may be ignored because it has already happened. Without the external threat of radical Islam, North Korea, etc. it is likely that domestic terrorists would be at work. Cynicism rules the corridors of power regardless of party affiliation. The major difference between the parties seems to be Progressive childishness and Conservative fear to make them grow up.