Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Why I Love Ann Coulter

April 5, 2010

“Thousands of years ago the first man discovered how to make fire.  He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light.  But he left them a gift they had not conceived, and he lifted darkness off the earth.  Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. The great creators, the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors, stood alone against the men of their time. Every new thought was opposed. Every new invention was denounced. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered, and they paid – but they won.   No creator was prompted by a desire to please his brothers. His brothers hated the gift he offered. His truth was his only motive.”

— Excerpt from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead (Howard Roark’s closing statement in his own defense.) 1

First, let me say that this is not a defense of Ann Coulter.  As far as I’m concerned, she needs no defending.  And if she ever did, she’d be able to acquit herself quite well.  On the other hand, if you are looking for any semblance of objectivity here, stop reading.  I freely admit my bias.  This is instead a kind of open love letter to Ann: an offering of homage to someone whom, for reasons I expand upon below, I hold in very high regard.  I can only hope she reads it!

Now, I could gush all day about Ann’s charming ebullience, her rapier wit, her gifted erudition, her unapologetic boldness, her sexy blonde mane, or the immense joy I get at seeing how she afflicts liberals with apoplectic fear and rage.  But I find that this unique woman possesses one quality above all others for which I truly admire her.  That quality is her love of the truth.  You see Ann, believe it or not, is a moral person.  She lives by a moral code — her own principles and sense of right and wrong as rooted in her Christian values — to which she steadfastly adheres no matter what the consequences.  And among the tenets of that moral code, she champions speaking the truth above all.  In other words, I believe that her truth is her only motive.

Ann speaks the truth openly and unreservedly and, yes, sometimes even offensively.  I am not going to recount here all of the controversial statements made by Ann Coulter.  (Remember, I’m biased.)  Besides, they are widely known.  And if you are not aware of them, a ten second Google search will satisfy your curiosity (the liberal blogosphere is all agog about even her most casual remarks.)  Regarding these controversial statements, most people simply dismiss them or relegate them to hyperbole, satire, or just bad jokes.  A few of us view these comments in their context and see the larger point being made.  The rest are liberals.  These comments are Ann’s signature rhetorical devices and, while sometimes they are indeed over the top, one cannot say they are unoriginal, and they almost always make a big impression.  As General George S. Patton once said when asked why he used profanity while addressing his troops: “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty.  It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember.” 2

Of course, it has reached the point now where no matter what Ann says she gets herself in trouble with liberals and progressives.  In fact, she doesn’t even have to say anything anymore.  The mere prospect of her speaking is enough to make them all aflutter.  The most recent incident was the “welcome” she received by the students and administration at that world renowned institution of higher learning, the University of Ottawa.  To make a long story short, Ann was prevented from speaking at the school after the school’s provost sent an email warning her to watch what she says as certain speech may run afoul of Canadian “hate speech” laws.  The obvious innuendo being that Ann is incapable of opening her mouth without potentially saying something tantamount to a crime!  Needless to say, this touched off a firestorm and an on campus student protest ensued (a protest against Ann, not the provost) which created a dangerous environment and caused Ann’s security detail (yes, she needs that now) to call the whole thing off.  For the full story, click here:

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/gem-of-the-week-oh-canada-what-a-houles-you-are/

The attitude among liberal and progressive opponents to Ann Coulter’s right to speak is best summed up in their own words.  When interviewed, University of Ottawa student protest organizer Mike Fancie stated he was pleased that they kept Ann from speaking.  “What Ann Coulter is practicing is not free speech, its hate speech,” he said. “She’s targeted the Jews, she’s targeted the Muslims, she’s targeted Canadians, homosexuals, women, almost everybody you could imagine.” (Source: The Boston Herald)  Well, if according to this genius “she’s targeted … everybody,” including groups on either side of a particular debate, then she can’t really be said to be targeting anyone, can she?  It is this kind of aggressive stupidity that Ann comes up against almost every time she speaks in public.  But worse than that, it is political correctness run amuck.  It is liberal-progressive oversensitivity codified into absurd laws and rules and enforced by academicians and apparatchiks like the University of Ottawa administrator. The sick irony, though, is that they do so in the name of tolerance.  Only in their Orwellian world could suppressing freedom of speech and expression be viewed as “tolerant.”

The face of liberal tolerance: A University of Ottawa student protester

Liberal rules regarding hate speech and free speech raise all kinds of subjective questions: Precisely what is hate speech?  What is appropriate speech?  When is speech offensive?  When is it not?  Which groups can you offend and which can you not?  Is no group or individual at any time ever deserving of offensive speech?  What about child rapists and murderers?  What about terrorists? What about racists, adulterers and sleazy politicians?  What about liars in general?  Are all of these exempt from being the target of offensive speech as well?  And if not all, then which are and which aren’t?  What about the bogeymen of liberals: conservative speakers and commentators?  Is there also a prohibition on speaking offensively to or about them?  It would appear that there is not!  I guess targeting conservatives, like Ann, is a-okay with liberals and progressives because they level their hate-filled rants and offensive slurs against her all the time.  Apparently when Ann is the object, it is open season on hate. All of this points out the absurdity and insidious evil of liberal and progressive “rules” when it comes to what can and cannot be speech. Lies and corruption are the tools of the collective: they are the means by which it pushes around the individual and stifles any free thought or expression that does not fit into their agenda of political correctness.  The status quo of political correctness and moral relativism are phenomena that have become entrenched in modern American culture, much to our great misfortune. Ann attacks and roots out this liberal hypocrisy wherever she finds it: whether it be in academia, the mainstream media, the Democratic Party, or Hollywood.  She tears away at the façade of their lies and reveals the faulty edifice underneath.  With a truth as hard as steel, she exposes their hypocrisy for what it is, and they hate her for it.  Speaking truth to power, I think is what it is called, and it has become, in a way, her mission.

But one needs to ask, why does Ann even bother with all this?  What is her motivation? Liberals assign a variety of motives: she is vile and malicious and can’t help herself; she is pure evil; she is a natural-born hater; she is only doing this to boost her book sales; etc. They lean on these rationalizations because they refuse to accept that anybody of her obvious intelligence would actually believe the outrageous things she says.  They are so arrogant (or perhaps insecure) in their belief that they are right, that they are convinced there must be some ulterior motive.

Howard Roark

Ann has only one motivation: she actually believes what she says.  And she says what she believes, no matter how offensive.  The truth trumps polite conversation.  Of course, Ann pays for this truth in the frightful extreme.  She endures insults, scorn, contempt, even threats, and like Howard Roark, Ayn Rand’s hero in The Fountainhead, outright hatred for causing the entire foundation of their corrupted structure to shake.  As in Rand’s novel, they would destroy her.  They would burn her at the stake with the very fire she’s introduced, if they could.  But therein lies the beauty of speaking the truth, it will always triumph over falsehood.  Some might say her enemies always fall into her trap, but really it is not a trap at all, it is the truth: the logic of truth which will always unmask a lie.  In the end, the status quo of the corrupt liberal collective is beaten.  The individual of vision wins.

But if indeed this is Ann’s motive and mission, is truth-telling really necessary even when it offends to the point of provoking hatred and fear?  I don’t think anyone would openly admit that it is better not to know the truth (though it would seem that for many, willful ignorance is truly bliss.)  But what about the truth that offends?  Is that really necessary?

It is truth, in all its forms and expressions that advances the human condition.  Truth in speech, art, music, poetry, literature, truth in invention and truth in creation of any kind has been the foundation stone upon which all else: cultures, societies, economies, governments and entire civilizations are built.  This is also the case when truth offends.  The truth is always opposed when it confronts men and women, governments and institutions, whose “principles” are warped and corrupted by lies and hypocrisy.  In these circumstances, truth is essential to the advancement of the human condition – not just when it offends, but because it offends.

The world as we know it today didn’t just come about over night.  Down through the ages, the broadening of views, ideas and perspectives and the shifting of paradigms in the religious, political, economic, scientific, social and cultural spheres all took place only because someone said something or did something or created something that offended the status quo.  In this country alone, the improvement of the human condition for blacks, women and other minority groups would never have happened unless someone ticked off somebody else.  Indeed, the country itself would never have come to exist unless a courageous few spoke certain truths that were an affront to a mighty many.  In all these instances, the offensive nature of truth was not just coincidental, it was essential. 3

At the end of Ayn Rand’s novel, the architect hero Howard Roark prevails.  He stands atop the steel framework of his creation, admired by the woman who has finally come to see the true meaning of his spirit.  His truth — the truth of one individual’s vision — wins out over the hypocrisy of the collective.  Whether or not Ann Coulter shall ultimately prevail, only time will tell.  But one thing is for sure: that quality of unabashed truth-telling is a rare and wonderful thing in this world, and it is why I love Ann.  You see, I am a recovering idealist who wakes up every day looking for an honest man.  Unlike Diogenes the Cynic, I do believe that at long last I have found one; only she’s a woman.

Diogenes Sitting in His Tub, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1860)

________________________

Footnotes:

Fn. 1: See the Comments section to this post for a video clip of the entire Howard Roark speech from the film, The Fountainhead.

Fn. 2: For a fuller version of the Patton quote: “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can’t run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn’t fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag … As for the types of comments I make, sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence.”

Fn. 3: Of course, none of this is to suggest that all truthful speech need be offensive or that just because speech is offensive it is truthful.  On the contrary, there is plenty of offensive speech that is just plain offensive.

Inconvenient History

March 22, 2010

Last night’s vote was historic.  That’s what they kept telling us.  With universal healthcare enacted into law, a sweeping transformation of one-sixth of our nation’s economy and, therefore too our society and culture, would ensue.  Historic indeed!  Together with the vast network of medical bureaucracies and numerous apparatchiks that will inevitably be created in order to bring this monstrosity to life, casual decisions by government regulators and mini-health czars will bring about life-altering consequences for ordinary Americans.  Moreover, fundamental controls, previously reserved for the legislative branch will be transferred over to the executive branch giving it the authority to fashion new policy and reshape the healthcare system as it sees fit.  Thus all this will enable and invest the executive branch, under President Obama, with the authority to exercise virtually boundless powers in healthcare and other areas. 

Aaaaaa-Hahahahahaha... Aaaaaa-Hahahahahaha!!

In such circumstances, it will be allowed that Nancy Pelosi, by going to the great lengths she has to bring this all about, has become the President’s great enabler; she and the so-called pro-life Democrats led by Bart Stupak, who at the eleventh hour cut a deal with the President by accepting the latter’s pledge in the form of an Executive Order prohibiting federal funding for abortions.

Well, history has a way of repeating itself.

On March, 23, 1933, almost 77 years to the day, Adolf Hitler passed his own Enabling Act.  Before the Reichstag (the German legislature) Hitler made a speech wherein he pledged that “the government will make use of these powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures … The number of cases in which an internal necessity exists for having recourse to such a law is in itself a limited one.” 

As the new law would alter the German constitution, a two-thirds majority was required which meant that Hitler needed 31 non-Nazi votes to get it passed.  He got those votes from the German centrist party after making a false promise to restore certain rights previously taken away by decree.  By this vote, Germany’s elected officials paved the way for the end of democratic government in Germany and the establishment, legally, of the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. 

The rest, as they say, is history.

For more on this topic, link to:

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/inconvenient-history/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/america-r-i-p/

America, R.I.P.

March 22, 2010

Did you hear that? Just now. It was barely audible, no more than a gasp, not even a faint cry. If you really strained your ears and listened you might just have heard it. It was the dying breath of America as we knew her. She passed tonight but you could hardly hear above all the din and commotion. You would hardly know amid the spectacle of paunchy legislators, smiling fatuously, and the Queen of all legislators, grinning like Skeletor himself. Amid talk of evil insurance companies and unfinished business, of reform, fairness and social justice, America quietly died tonight and barely anyone noticed. She went out, not with a bang, but a whimper …

But, you say, the sun will still rise tomorrow. Yes, it will. And life must go on. Yes, it must, but with a difference. Even if this imminent law does not result in all the wild things we crazy right wingers have been saying — to wit: rationing of healthcare services to cover thirty million uninsured; cuts in Medicare resulting in tens of thousands of doctors, hospitals and outpatient clinics refusing to treat Medicare patients, having disastrous consequences for the elderly; virtual God-like control by government healthcare planners (i.e., bureaucrats) who will deny treatments and limit drug availability; all while adding hundreds of billions to the deficit when it becomes clear that the Democrats’ gerrymandering of the numbers to achieve so-called cost-containment is exposed for the fraud that it is — even if by some fantastic fairy-tale magic none of these things ever come to pass and we are all holding hands and skipping down the flower-strewn path to good health, this soon-to-be tragedy called universal healthcare will have ripped the very heart and soul out of this country.

And why is that, you ask? Because we have just entered the Age of Dependence: a time when we no longer possess our individual rights independent of the government, but instead beholden to the government. Government has gone from protector to provider, from neutral referee to biased participant. The government, it must be allowed, has now given us something, for a price. The price is liberty. We owe them now. And that which is given, can always be taken away. A passage of uncertain origin, but generally attributed to Scottish-born writer and lawyer Alexander Tytler, is of relevance here:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years… Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

If Mr. Tytler is anywhere near as prescient as he seems, we have only one more age to go, and tonight we’ve just paved the way there very nicely.

America died tonight. And if you still haven’t an inkling as to what I am talking about, then I’ll never be able to explain it to you.  You’ll just have to listen better.

For more on this topic, link to:

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/why-you-don%e2%80%99t-have-a-right-to-healthcare/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/fortune-favors-the-brave/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/the-arrogance-of-hope-change-%e2%80%a6-or-else/

Why You Don’t Have a Right to Healthcare

March 20, 2010

 

 

 

I.  What is a Right?

Healthcare in America is not a right and cannot be a right so long as we live in a country that still recognizes the United States Constitution as the law of the land.  Our rights are embedded in Natural Law.  They do not come from a king, they do not come from the President or any other politician, they do not come from Congress, nor do they come from the government as a whole or from some special group of policy makers within the government.  They do not even come from the Constitution itself.  Our rights emanate from the fundamental nature of our humanity or, if you will, from God.  As individuals, we are born with them.  The Constitution is the document under which our rights are protected.  Protected from what or whom? Why, from the government of course.  Or more to the point, the government’s inherent desire for ever more encroaching power and control over our lives.

Because our rights derive from our own individual humanity, healthcare, whether provided by the government or somebody else, cannot, by definition, be a human right.  And why is this?  Because if it were a right, we would be able to require of another person that he or she provide it to us, which would then infringe on that person’s rights.  In other words, if a so-called right requires someone else to do something for you or give something to you (i.e., guaranteed care whenever you are sick) then it is not a right.  So if healthcare is not a right, what is it?  It is a good.  A good is something we want or need, as opposed to something we naturally possess from birth.  So healthcare is no more a right than is food, clothing, housing, high-speed Internet access, or a double mocha latte from Starbucks. 

What are some examples of rights?  We have a right to life, to speech, to worship, to travel, to due process (or fairness); we also have the right to be left alone.  These basic rights and others are to be found among the first ten amendments to the Constitution, otherwise known as the Bill of Rights.  But when you think about it, they are not really rights at all. There is nothing there that is being given to Americans that they do not already naturally possess.  They are more like prohibitions – prohibitions placed upon the government; things that the government shall not do to infringe upon the rights of the individual.  “Congress shall make no law…” this right “shall not be infringed…” this other right “shall not be violated,” the Bill of Rights is replete with such language.  So if we already possess these rights, why were they even added to the Constitution?  Because the people were, understandably, suspicious of government and in fact feared a government that would not only fail to secure their rights but actually, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, become “destructive of these ends.” 

 

 

II. The Progressive View 

Of course none of this squares at all with what Progressive politicians are saying.  Those great liberal luminaries, Dennis Kucinich, Tom Harkin, Nancy Pelosi and even Barrack Obama, have all argued that healthcare either is or should be a right in this country.  If they think it is already a right, then they either are unable or unwilling to comprehend the above analysis.  On the other hand, believing it should be a right is even more troubling because that implies that they —the officials of the government — actually think they have the power to grant it as a right.  Well, they who have the power to give, also have the power to take away.

But all this begs the question, why are these deep-thinking Progressives so hot to make only healthcare a right?  What about food? What good is it being healthy if you don’t have anything to eat?  What about housing? You need a place to sleep don’t you? What about a job?  How about a car to get to the job?  How about a place to rest when you go on vacation from your job?  Sound good?

Well, believe it or not, these things can all be yours.  Just one little catch: you have to leave the country.  Yes, the governments of other fine nations, both existing and defunct, have provided in their constitutions for all of the above, including healthcare.  Regarding the healthcare “right,” here is just a brief sampling: 

Article 42.  Citizens … have the right to health protection.This right is ensured by free, qualified medical care provided by state health institutions; by extension of the network of therapeutic and health-building institutions; by the development and improvement of safety and hygiene in industry; by carrying out broad prophylactic measures; by measures to improve the environment; by special care for the health of the rising generation, including prohibition of child labor, excluding the work done by children as part of the school curriculum; and by developing research to prevent and reduce the incidence of disease and ensure citizens a long and active life.

This comes from the U.S.S.R.’s Constitution of Fundamental Rights, as amended in 1977.

Here is the right to healthcare from the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (as adopted in 1982): 

Article 45. Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the right to material assistance from the state and society when they are old, ill or disabled. The state develops the social insurance, social relief and medical and health services that are required to enable citizens to enjoy this right. The state and society ensure the livelihood of disabled members of the armed forces, provide pensions to the families of martyrs and give preferential treatment to the families of military personnel. The state and society help make arrangements for the work, livelihood and education of the blind, deaf-mute and other handicapped citizens

And to satisfy the Michael Moore crowd, the Cuban Constitution (as amended in 2002) also gives everyone the right to healthcare:

Article 50: Everyone has the right to health protection and care. The state guarantees this right; by providing free medical and hospital care by means of the installations of the rural medical service network, polyclinics, hospitals, preventative and specialized treatment centers; by providing free dental care; by promoting the health publicity campaigns, health education, regular medical examinations, general vaccinations and other measures to prevent the outbreak of disease. All the population cooperates in these activities and plans through the social and mass organizations.

Finally, there’s this one:

… Healthcare is a basic right … to be provided through a not-for-profit plan.  We … include coverage for those excluded… We … free the states. We … have control over private insurance companies and the cost their very existence imposes on [our] families.  We … provide a significant place for alternative and complementary medicine, religious health science practice, and the personal responsibility aspects of health care which include diet, nutrition, and exercise.

Actually, those are the words of Congressman Dennis Kucinich in a speech he gave just last Wednesday regarding his plans to vote on the upcoming bill for government managed healthcare in this country.  Sound familiar?

 

 

 

III. America the Exceptional

I often get this from liberals: “Most of the industrialized world thinks that healthcare is a human right, why not the United States?” Well most of the world, industrialized or not, thinks a lot of things that are decidedly un-American, including the government’s power to bestow healthcare (and other things) as a right.  One has to ask, how did America get to be America?  By becoming like the rest of the world?  By giving things away for free? Heck no!  What makes us still today the shining beacon to the rest of the world is that we are different from the rest of the world.  We are exceptional.  And what allows us to be exceptional is the recognition that our rights and liberties are intrinsic to the individual and not derived from government.  Where over the course of human history through to this day, governments of other nations have handed down rights to the peoples they’ve governed and have, in the name of those very rights, meddled, restrained and enslaved, in America the individual rights and liberties of our people have freed us to create, innovate, invest, build, grow and pursue success and happiness in every conceivable way, including giving it all away if that is an individual’s choice.

So really the question is not so much whether healthcare is or is not a right, because in America it is not.  Rather the question is what kind of country we want to be. 

For more on the healthcare debate, link to:

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/fortune-favors-the-brave/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/the-arrogance-of-hope-change-%e2%80%a6-or-else/

Fortune Favors the Brave

March 18, 2010

There is a phrase in Latin that the ancient Romans were fond of saying: Aduentes Fortuna Juvat.  Roughly translated, it means “fortune favors the brave.” 

Earlier this week, as a part of his final push for universal healthcare and the fundamental transformation of American culture and society, President Barrack Obama staged a rally in Ohio attended by scores of his hardcore supporters and, notably, Congressman Dennis Kucinich.  Obama concluded his speech by saying, “We need courage, that’s what we need…  I want some courage!”  He then jetted back to Washington, D.C.  The next day, Congressman Kucinich, who had been treated by the President to a ride on Air Force One, announced he was changing his “No” vote on healthcare to “Yes.”  In a speech Kucinich declared, among other things, that healthcare is a “basic right.”  Time will tell whether or not fortune smiles upon Mr. Kucinich.

Well, with all this talk by politicians about being courageous, I thought it would be appropriate to take a moment to look at an American leader with real courage: George Washington.  Now, I am quite sure most of us all know at least a few generalities about the following story from our high school history.  Unless of course you are a student in high school today, in which case you are busy learning about much more important things like: The Influence of Hip-Hop on American Culture; The Proper Way to Use a Condom; and Why You Don’t Need a Daddy to Have a Family.  But be that as it may, here goes…

It was winter of the year 1776.  The new American nation had declared its independence from Great Britain the previous July and all-out war with the British was underway.  The American Continental Army, led by General George Washington, had been beaten and chased out of New York by the British forces and was in a desperate retreat.  British General Lord Cornwallis had pursued Washington’s diminishing army through New Jersey, until the Americans withdrew across the Delaware River and took refuge in Pennsylvania in early December.  Although General Washington’s skillful retreat had prevented the British from completely crushing the dwindling American force, the outlook for the Continental Army, and American prospects for winning the war, was very bleak indeed. 

George Washington had fewer than 5,000 men in his army, whose morale was now at its lowest.  The Congress, ever pessimistic, had turned tail from Philadelphia and fled to Baltimore.  There was no money left to finance the army.  Provisions were scarce and Washington’s men were starving and cold.  “These are the times that try men’s souls,” wrote Thomas Paine, who was actually with the army at the time.  Virtually everyone considered the American cause lost.  That is, everyone except George Washington.  At this dire hour, faced with these demoralizing circumstances, George Washington, a man of deep faith and courage, decided to go on the offensive.  He knew that, despite the forces arrayed against him, he had two things in his favor. First, the popular mood among the people against the British remained strong, and, second, he had the element of surprise on his side.  So rallying his men before dawn on December 26th, he secretly led them back across the Delaware River, over land to Trenton, New Jersey where a force of some one thousand Hessian troops (German mercenaries engaged by the British) were quartered. Washington and his men took the Hessians by complete surprise and, after a brief engagement, defeated the entire force with negligible losses to their own side.  So overconfident were the Hessians that they were caught sleeping off the effects of their Christmas revelry from the night before.  As the story goes, after the battle the Hessian Colonel was found dead with a dispatch letter in his coat pocket warning him of the American sneak attack.  The letter was unopened.

Aduentes Fortuna Juvat!

After this victory, the American war effort was galvanized, the Congress found renewed confidence in General Washington, and enlistments in the Continental Army increased dramatically.  Eventually, the British were forced to retreat to their base in New York City.  Many consider this battle to be the turning point in the American Revolutionary War.  In later years, George Washington himself became convinced that America was guided by Divine Providence.  Fortune favors the brave.

In this the current battle over universal healthcare, we all of us are called once more unto the breach to defend what George Washington and his brave men risked so much to obtain.  On one side are the Republicans in Congress, some Democrats, and the vast majority of the American people whose mood against the proposed legislation remains strong.  On the other side are Mr. Obama and most Congressional Democrats.  In this process, we have seen secret deals made and Senators bribed, all manner of legislative chicanery used, deception and outright lies told by politicians at the highest levels, and a President who on the one hand expresses his ambivalence as to how his legislation is passed into law — as long as it is passed into law — while on the other hand talks about courage.  Courage?  Just what sort of courage do you mean Mr. President?

__________________________________

For more on the healthcare debate, link to:

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/why-you-don%e2%80%99t-have-a-right-to-healthcare/

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/the-arrogance-of-hope-change-%e2%80%a6-or-else/

Inconvenient History

March 8, 2010

Recently, a piece of tripe appeared on the New York Times editorial page (shocking!) about what wonderful shape the United States is in.  It was written by some English wanker by the name of Piers Brendon who fancies himself a student of history.

Anyway, I won’t dwell on the turgid prose of Mr. Brendon other than to say that the article attempts to debunk comparisons between the decline of ancient Rome and the precarious position that America finds itself in today.  In support of his argument, Brendon actually cites that great intellectual luminary and current Vice-President, Joe Biden!  If you’re still intrigued, you can link to the article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/opinion/25brendon.html?pagewanted=1

Whether or not there are any parallels between ancient Rome and present day America, may be a matter of wide open debate.  But one thing is for sure, the New York Times has written enough Pollyanna pieces on the present state of American culture and global standing under the rule of Obama to make even Neville Chamberlain look like an alarmist.  Of course, I wouldn’t describe anything in the New York Times as fit to print, whether it be news or the Sunday Style Section.  But when it comes to philosophizing about history, the old Grey Lady is begging to be ridiculed.  At any rate, I would much rather trust a real historian:

The study of history is the best medicine for a sick mind; for in history you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see: and in that record you can find for yourself and your country both examples and warnings: fine things to take as models, base things, rotten through and through, to avoid.  I hope my passion for [my country’s] past has not impaired my judgment; for I do honestly believe that no country has ever been greater and purer than ours or richer in good citizens and noble deeds; none has been free for so many generations from the vices of avarice and luxury; nowhere have thrift and plain living been for so long held in such esteem.  Indeed, poverty with us went hand in hand with contentment.  Of late years wealth has made us greedy, and self-indulgence has brought us, through every form of sensual excess, to be, if I may so put it, in love with death both individual and collective.

– Titus Livius “Livy” (59 BC – AD 17), The Early History of Rome (Emphasis added.)

The Course of Empire: Destruction, by Thomas Cole (1836)

Inconvenient History

March 3, 2010

Over the past several weeks, I have grown increasingly impressed by the President’s determination, in the face of daunting public opposition, to press on with enacting his plan for government-run healthcare.  Notwithstanding a growing number of angry Americans who clearly do not want the national experiment that is this plan, this President appears resolute.  I am reminded of the words of a noted historian:

“Like many of the revolutionaries and conquerors of history, from Alexander to Napoleon to Stalin, he was a foreigner among his countrymen.  There is surely a psychological link between this sense of being an outsider and the readiness to employ a whole nation as material for wild and expansive projects, even to the point of destroying the nation.”

Excerpt from: Hitler by Joachim C. Fest.  (New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1974), p.14.