America

I still say we’re in trouble

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It’s been a while since I commented on America’s road to serfdom. So here’s one for the lovers of doom.

An article in the Atlantic says that it takes kids 90 seconds longer to run one mile than it used to in the 80s.  80% of young people are too dumb, criminal or fat to enter the military.

And here we find that the generation of the participation trophy just doesn’t care about winning. WSJ: 

They’re just not very fast. “There’s not as many super-competitive athletes today as when the baby boomers were in their 20s and 30s,” said Ryan Lamppa, spokesman for Running USA, an industry-funded research group. While noting the health benefits that endurance racing confers regardless of pace, Lamppa—a 54-year-old competitive runner—said, “Many new runners come from a mind-set where everyone gets a medal and it’s good enough just to finish.”

Now, a generational battle is raging in endurance athletics. Old-timers are suggesting that performance-related apathy among young amateur athletes helps explain why America hasn’t won an Olympic marathon medal since 2004

It’s easy to see why so many in America are clamoring for enforced equality: They’re bad at so many things. Meanwhile China’s blowing us out of the water and Putins making 10 year olds across Russia do knuckle pushups and assemble an AN94 assault rifle before every meal. Our kids are good at Angry Birds.

I’ll see you in the howling wilderness that will be America is two decades or so. For now, ride the tiger.

 

Some have it, some don’t

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In his seminal book, “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, science journalist Gary Taubes recounts several studies which showed that starvation dieting did not work very well in helping people to lose weight, and that exercise, in his opinion, is unlikely the main factor in people losing pounds. One aspect of weight control that these studies doesn’t delve into is the roll that human will plays in diet. One area that I am at odds with Taubes is that people are relatively helpless victims in the obesity epidemic, swept away by a river of fate and bad science. I am also at odds with him on the role the exercise plays in weight loss.

Taubes recounts studies in which obese people were placed on diet of between 1500 and 1800 calories, and lost a paltry 8 pounds or so in 6 months or more. Yet the soldier I trained in Afghanistan lost 47 lbs. We did not count calories. He trained every other day, for about an hour. How was this possible? One of the faults I see in the studies that Taubes sites is an obvious one, at least to someone familiar with physical fitness. These studies, at least from what Taubes says, only monitored the weight of the subjects, and apparently not the body composition of the client. Muscle could have been increasing and fat decreasing, which is what most people want. He cites several studies which showed some people gaining weight while exercising, and some losing weight. This is actually consistent with what I saw in army basic training. Some people lost weight, one fellow gained over 20 lbs of good muscle. My weight stayed exactly the same throughout. I believe the body has a weight it desires to be at when exercise and diet are mostly correct. Thus the Russian studies involving kettlebell training that show some people lost weight and some people gained weight after training with kettlebells for some time. Some people needed more muscles, while others needed to lose fat. Kettlebell training set them right. Taubes believes that exercise increases appetite, thus causing people to eat more and gain weight. He quotes one scientists observation that a person has to climb 20 flights of stairs to burn off one piece of bread. Here, Taubes is again arguing against his own hypothesis, that obesity is primarily a hormonal problem in which excess insulin forces energy into fat cells for storage. Instead, he is making an excess energy argument in which he believes that exercise is insufficient in burning off consumed calories in most people. The problem is, Taubes’ insulin hypothesis could be right, and exercise could still help people lose weight, because exercise impacts blood glucose, insulin and the impact of insulin very significantly. Moreover, secondary hormones, which Taubes admits impact weight gain and loss (such as Human Growth Hormone and testosterone) though they play subordinate rolls to insulin, are greatly increased during and after exercise, even more so during intense exercise. I am not sure what kinds of exercise the people in the studies were doing, but not all exercises are created equal. Modern exercise science is pointing in a different direction from the decades of long and slow movements.

I see Taubes’ view that exercise is ineffective as fatalistic and also as part of a society that wishes to avoid any hint of personal responsibility or control. Taubes repeatedly points out that in the past, obesity was considered a moral failure, when it may only be an endocrine problem. However, humans, as intelligent moral creatures have the ability to seek better ways. When Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they they became burdened with their sins. And so it is with obesity. While I do not judge overweight people, I do find it reprehensible when people want to blame everything but themselves for their weight condition. After all, it may be true that they do not know the current science of diet and exercise, and it may be true that what they have been eating is making it nearly impossible to lose weight. But the overriding and glaring truth that should be evident is that what they have been doing is not working. I am particularly unsympathetic to people in the US Army whom are chronically overweight. I see and hear the differences in these people when compared to the fit soldiers. Gary Taubes seems to say that willpower has little or no part in weight control. I beg to differ. Certainly, cutting out refined carbohydrates will drastically reduce appetite and thus reduce the need for will in controlling weight, but it takes willpower to make the first step, and it takes willpower, and force of habit forged through the daily application of willpower, to eat and exercise in a beneficial way. After a while, habit trumps willpower. Doing things the right way, over and over, we find ourselves unsaddled with the pain we felt in the past. As we get more fit, exercise is no longer painful, as we reach our weight goal, defending that weight is much easier than having to send our bodies into deficit in order to lose weight.

I’m not a big fan of most reality shows, but I do appreciate The Biggest Loser. The trainers don’t allow the participants to wallow in self-serving whimper parties and excuses, tactics which have served them well in an enabling society. I see this behavior in the chronically overweight and under-fit people in my office. When we do Army physical training in the morning, one fellow in particular will almost invariably start whimpering about this or that hurting. He gained about 20 pounds of fat while I was deployed (he stayed at Ft. Drum), mostly by drinking liquid sucrose multiple times per day (that health drink known as Gatorade) and because he simply can’t push himself hard in physical training unless someone else is there to make him push himself. My experience with soldiers such as this helped me to notice two common characteristics: 1) They have very low pain thresholds, 2) They are relatively immune to shame.

The longer I am an NCO in the Army, the less patience I have for these types. I’m not talking about the person whom is merely slow or fat, but the person whom makes drama out of his discomfort in hopes of gaining an advantage over the people that are suffering right along with him, the person who expects the world to do all the work for him. Some of these people are irredeemable. They lack introspection and dignity. Some people have it, some don’t elite military units figure out if you have “it” before they hire you. They don’t train you to have it. Last week while leading physical training with two of my troops, the overweight NCO I spoke of above said he had a headache after we got done doing sprints. It was the usual drivel fro this guy, and the more he does it, the more I want to run him until he vomits (which he did, three times, several days prior). I’m 13 years older than he is, and wouldn’t dream of crying in front of my troops after a hard workout. The more he cries, the more I will run him, and make him swing kettlebells until his eyes bleed. When he began complaining, I exercised my right as an NCO is the US Army: I used shame and salty language to motivate. I said:

I have no fucking sympathy. None. Unless you have an arterial bleed I have no sympathy.

For those not in the military, this attitude seems brutal. But this is the problem with Taubes’ thesis: He tries to remove willpower from the equation. Just as the creators of counterinsurgency doctrine have tried to remove willpower from warfare and assume that we just need to tweek our “inputs” a little more and the enemy will fall in line, Taubes thinks that people just aren’t eating the exactly correct proportions of macro-nutrients (proportions which no one can agree on). Willpower is one thing that sets us apart from other animals. We can see our wrongs and make adjustments. The idea that things are supposed to be easy every time, all the time is killing our nation. From the Occupy Wall Street proto-Marxists, to the softies recruited by our military, we think we should start at the top, and never suffer a moment of discomfort. To modern Americans, something is wrong when there is discomfort. We could be climbing Mt. Everest and wonder why we’re uncomfortable and what politician we can appeal to for help.

Part of the problem begins with the femininization of America. We are increasingly matriarchal. This partly due to the fact that people simply cannot stay married for long anymore. They can’t tolerate each other. Lower class couple abandon each other at an alarming rate; when you have no job skills and neither does your partner, and no faith in God, you find your husband or wife as intolerable as any other person. Fathers are abandoning the family, and are generally not respected the way they used to be. Studies show that men and women have different parenting styles. Neither is better than the other, but both are required in order to make children into fully functioning adults. Women tend to be more nurturing and protective, while fathers tend to encourage reasonable risk taking. Two days ago I was at the bus stop waiting for my 6 year old’s school bus. One mother scolded her 7 (?) year old boy for jogging on the grass around the bus stop, warning him that the grass was wet from dew and she didn’t want him to fall and hurt himself. I wanted to vomit, and probably would have had I eaten breakfast. This boy will probably grow to be an Army general officer of the current strain, claiming that fighting is dangerous and doesn’t win wars. The obsession with safety in the Army is indicative of the military’s feminization.

We are dying from the inside, growing softer. We, the whining child who wants dessert before supper. And this is how I see most civilizations dying, not a concrete edifice demolished by the enemy’s cannon fire, but a rotting decomposition, the infinitesimal linkages between our cells that the wise of the world could never completely grasp, slowly disintegrating, becoming a liquefied gelatinous mass which no longer resembles a living entity.

Carbohydrates matter–a lot. Will matters even more. Almost every person at FOB Warrior in Afghanistan where I was deployed, lost weight. Why? Not because they were watching their carbs, but because they ate less because there was less food available. Sure, as a result they ate fewer carbohydrates. But we can control our destiny. We can make adjustments. Willpower needs to be exercised like any other human aspect, in order to strengthen it. Sometimes we need to really push ourselves through painful workouts, just to build our will. Allowing ourselves to be hungrier than normal is an ancient way of exercising the will. I’ve always promoted intermittent fasting, not only for its health benefits, but because it changes our essence.

Seize your destiny. You are not a victim of fate, whatever that fate it. Understand that pain is momentary, it is a threshold through which all strong people must pass. The only way to be strong is to pass through the portal of discomfort, which it transitory. On the other side of that door is strength and freedom.

Democrats appeal to God

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They’ll laugh, they’ll snicker. And I’ll keep trudging through the streets carrying my sign: “The End is Near!” We are a dying society. As faith in God has disintegrated, so has knowledge of good and evil. The agnostic and atheist elites will analyze, but will not find the cold, mathematical formula they seek to explain our disintegration, except to say in the form of a new social program. Here, uber-liberal Democrats find in their hearts to call out to God–and thank him for access to abortion. Nietzsche’s Transvaluation of Values is nearly complete, but not quite. As in Sodom and Gomorrah, God was willing to save a city from destruction should there be a very small percent of people whom remained righteous. America remains the most faithful Western nation in existence, which isn’t saying mush at this point in time.

America’s time is coming. We are walking on slippery rocks. Just as the great sermoneer, Jonathan Edwards quoted:

Their foot shall slide in due time,  Deuteronomy 32:35.

If we continue, and we probably will, one day we will look around and wonder how our great cities became smoldering ash, whether in metaphor or in reality. In due time, when God has had enough.

50 million abortions a year. The great shift toward matriarchal society has wrought annihilation of which Mao, Hitler and Stalin would be proud. Men have made war against armed men. The modern feminist has picked up the sword against a dreaming child. Disintegrating family structures. Voting trends are already showing the results of massive demographic changes. Fact: Immigrants and Blacks vote for more government. They will not stop. They’re world view tells them that government makes and enables life. And just as the prophets of old heard from the people they warned: “We’ve heard the warnings before, shut up and go away”, many will ignore the obvious, that America cannot continue down the road it’s on. Spending is a moral issue. Those whom chronically take more than they earn have a moral problem. We as a people have a moral problem. A nation of consumerism, hedonism, nihilism, socialism. We better find more theism.

Hobbes, violence and gun control

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Although not a pleasant topic so near to Christmas, I feel it necessary to touch on the issue of guns, violence, and the limits of what the law can do to protect us.

First, I will hit upon utility of the law.  When I was a police officer, it was common for me to deal with “violations of protection orders”. A protection order is simply a legal piece of paper that ordered one person to stay away from another.  It does nearly nothing to stop a person from actually having contact with another; the hope is that the possibility of getting in trouble will deter most people from violating the law. But as I would counsel some of the people who believed in the extraordinary power of the protection order, it is not a force field. It will not make bullets bounce off you.  Moreover, people can violate a protection order without the rest of the world knowing they did so. They can stalk their victims, they can make anonymous phone calls, and they can murder their victims and get away with it, just as did O.J. Simpson.

Recently after the shooting at Sandy Hook, I began watching a documentary on the Beslan school shooting in Russia. In the first part of the documentary, a small boy, who was at the school during the massacre, makes a stunningly insightful comment at the 3:06 minute mark:

There is no God, only force. Military force.

I’m not sure whether to be more dismayed by the child’s nihilism, or the fact that he is more philosophically insightful than 99% of the adult liberals whom propose additional laws to control those breaking already existing laws. The laws against homicide did not prevent the children of Sandy Hook from being murdered.  Now of course I am not for the removal of laws against murder. They certainly make some people think twice, and they provide us a legal path to imprison those who refuse to play by society’s rule, but they do not guarantee anyone’s safety. Nothing does.

Let’s talk about the usefulness of restricting gun rights. Later, I’ll touch on justice and what our Founding Fathers believed. I’ve already talked about the limits of written law and Blaise Pascal agreed:

Without force, the law is impotent.

Does anyone believe that by restricting access to AR-15s, violent crime will drop? If so, can you support your belief in fact? I can provide support to show the opposite is true.

Two countries, very close to America in cultural climate (and culture is important when considering crime and individual rights), Australia and Britain, experienced astounding increases in violent crime aftter implementing increasingly restrictive gun laws. In 1997, Australia enacted its gun ban. Some believe that Australia has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.  Five years after the ban, violent crime increased by 42.2%.  Rapes jumped by nearly 30%. Shockingly enough, criminals didn’t obey the law.

We love the English accent. It summons thoughts of  a refined and stoic people, steadfastly enduring Nazi air raids and fighting evil to the bloody end. Too bad England’s violent crime is even worse than America’s, despite heavy-handed restrictions on guns. In one decade, gun crimes in Britain nearly doubled.  And while England has relatively low gun-crime, it is still the violent crime capital of Europe. One of my fundamental problems with modern liberals is not that they want a more peaceful and safe world, but that the laws they propose in order to make such a world rarely do what liberals say they will do. From the Kyoto Protocol to guns laws, the liberal argument is that of Piers Morgan: “We have to do something!” Consider this: Australia and Great Britain are both big islands, making the importation of illegal firearms more difficult than in countries like America. Yet this fact and the strict laws are not nearly enough.

How about trying something that works, doesn’t infringe on the Bill of Rights, and isn’t the child of a dreamy, politically correct world?

Then there’s our friendly neighbor to the south, Mexico. Here’s what the US Consulate in Tijuana web page has to say to Americans travelling to Mexico:

Don’t bring firearms or ammunition across the border into Mexico.

Don’t carry a knife, even a small pocketknife, on your person in Mexico.

You may become one of dozens of U.S. Citizens who are arrested each month for unintentionally violating Mexico’s strict weapons laws.

If you are caught with firearms or ammunition in Mexico…

  • You will go to jail and your vehicle will be seized;
  • You will be separated from your family, friends, and your job, and likely suffer substantial financial hardship;
  • You will pay court costs and other fees ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars defending yourself;
  • You may get up to a 30-year sentence in a Mexican prison if found guilty.

If you carry a knife on your person in Mexico, even a pocketknife . . .

  • You may be arrested and charged with possession of a deadly weapon;
  • You may spend weeks in jail waiting for trial, and tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees, court costs, and fines;
  • If convicted, you may be sentenced to up to five years in a Mexican prison.

Claiming not to know about the law will not get you leniency from a police officer or the judicial system. Leave your firearms, ammunition, and knives at home. Don’t bring them into Mexico.

Yet the drug cartels, not the Mexican government have the monopoly on violence in Mexico.  Draconian gun laws do not prevent drug lords from fielding their own militias.  I’ll find somewhere else to vacation, thanks.

I posted the following on my Facebook page earlier today:

Question to Liberals: If you were at Sandy Hook on the day of the shooting, and you had a gun, would you have shot the killer, Adam Lanza? If so, how do you square that with the prevalent argument from the Left that there should be gun-free zones and no armed teachers or guards? If you would not have shot him, how would you live with yourself?

If a person answers that they would shoot the murderer, they admit that having a gun at that time is preferable to not having one. And yet many liberals argue against gun rights. Of course, their argument is only that of Rosie O’Donnell. Guns are for me, not for you. Only me and my bodyguards can be trusted with them. I agree that some people prove they cannot be trusted with guns, but the average American can and should be trusted.

The police cannot protect you. Take it from a former cop. The police protect you only in so far as the criminal fears being caught, after the fact, or to the extant that you can slow the criminal down until the police arrive.   If someone breaks into a person’s house, intent on injuring another person, the police will not stop him if the victim has not taken proper precautions in protecting themselves.  That’s why I’m for both passive and active defenses in schools. If we make our banks difficult to attack, why not our schools? The disingenuous argument that our school houses would become free-fire zones doesn’t ring true when we consider the less important institutions in America that have far more security than schools, yet don’t resemble the Wild West.

Of all the myths of the Left, none is more beloved than, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Our most advanced writers–the Leftist intellectuals ensconced in the cocoon of academia, could only hope so. Thus their over-reliance on such entities as the State Department and United Nations.  Talking and making rules doesn’t mean jack to the people we’re worried about. Force does.

Finally, there is the philosophical and historical argument for gun rights in America.

Thomas Hobbes said it best:

A man cannot lay down the right of resisting them that assault him by force, to take away his life.

If the government takes away the right of a man to defend his life, it essentially takes away his life. Any effort by the government to take away the right to self-protection assumes the ability of the government to adequately protect the individual, which it cannot do. Were all citizens afforded a Secret Service protection detail, such regulation may be justifiable. But that’s an impossibility.

Not the average citizen’s level of protection.

Sometimes justice outpaces utility. For instance, in my mind, just as Edmund Burke argued, free trade is not so much about utility (how much in taxes the government can harvest) as it is about what’s right: It is right that people should keep what they work for. In the case of guns, it is right that I be able to protect my child and myself. It is not right that a man be able to break into my house and rape my wife without me being able to shoot him in the face…

The statements of America’s Founding Fathers and other respected historical figures are replete with support for individual gun ownership. While I’ll try to avoid appeal-to-authority fallacies, I submit that these figures deserve to be heard, and sufficient evidence is required to overturn the wisdom of these men. The proposed gun control laws have proven insufficient in the past in this country and in others. And they violate my inalienable right to protect myself.  A law that both doesn’t work and harms individual liberty is a bad law, something this country surely doesn’t need any more of.

I’ll leave you with a few gems from the brilliant men that left it in our hands to maintain that great thing we take for granted: Our own liberty.

Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defence? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defence be the *real* object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?

— Patrick Henry, speech of June 9 1788

“The great object is, that every man be armed. […] Every one who is able may have a gun.”

— Patrick Henry, speech of June 14 1788

“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good”

— George Washington

“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.”

— Mahatma Gandhi

Americans accept losing wars and mediocrity at the highest levels

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The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.~ Thucydides

Weakness provokes insult and injury, while a condition to punish, often prevents them.~Thomas Jefferson

I have complained often and loudly about the caustic culture inside the US Army. It is a witch’s brew of arrogance, ridiculous regulation, and inept leadership. There are good leaders to be sure–but there is a disturbing number of bad ones, marred by a lack of basic common sense in fighting wars, and an arrogance that would shock Commodus.

My favourite essayist, Ralph Peters wrote a scathing article in the New York Post about the ethical collapse in the Army’s officer corps. There are more frightening stories than Peters talks about in his piece.

And here’s the biggest problem with all of this: These generals could not even  advocate for the proper execution of our wars for the last 10 years.  If a Soldier gets shot while on guard duty and was found to have not worn his helmet–he’ll get in more trouble than the insurgent who did the shooting, because it’s likely no effort will be made to pursue the attacker. In every other era of American war, the command’s initial response to a Soldier being shot at the front gate would be :” The enemy is able to maneuver very closely to our base–we need to find him and kill him.” Now, the command goes for the easy target–the American trooper. I assure everyone, that insurgents move and gather quite closely to American bases in Afghanistan and never have a shot fired at them in anger. Never have terrorist had it so good.  A full-bird colonel may smile and shake the hand of a villager that is helping kill his troops, but ruthlessly belittle the American privates on his base for being out of uniform.

It’s easy to fight a foe that can’t fight back.

The US Army has loads of support troops who don’t know how to use radios properly, how to use weapons optics like the ACOG, and the US is getting its ass handed to it by a growing Afghan insurgency which actually knows how to shoot, move and communicate. But the new Army’s mantra is “Right time, right place, right uniform.”  What is this, a Wal-Mart corporate meeting? Left out of any messaging is the fact that the Army has one overriding mission: To kill dead the enemies of the United States. Period.

Meanwhile, our West Point educated generals and colonels, whom the illiterate Taliban are running circles around, are committing acts of sexual assault, bigamy, and outright theft of government finances.  Generals reduced to cutpurses.

Then there is the absolute tide of political correctness to which our generals are beholden. Every time I hear an interview with a general, I walk away not feeling inspired, but depressed. Wooden, and reading from a memorized slate approved for press release, these folks would make Patton vomit.  Make no mistake about it. Today, Patton would be arrested. He admitted Americans like a good fight. Why? Because to win a fight, you have to like it, at least a little. But our current military is so risk averse, that only a fool would look for the enemy on a regular basis.

It’s really too bad that these generals are being investigated for sexual indiscretion and petty thievery  but not for their performance in our wars.  Where is the vaunted moral courage and intellectual honesty in the officer’s corp? I should like to see many more canned for not doing their job: Stacking enemy bodies.  Sound harsh? It is. That’s war. The current counterinsurgency model is so “counter-intuitive” ( term often used to mask the insanity of a bad idea), that only an intellectual could believe it.

It’s time we take a long hard look at ourselves. Frankly, I’m embarrassed.  Back in the homeland, we now accept losing. We shouldn’t. A good loser is a loser.  The personalities that used to be our generals are now our college and professional football coaches. They went where the money is and where they can tell the truth.

Les Miles would have won wars:

As Lombardi said, winning is a habit. I reached a turning point in my life when I no longer accepted defeat. When mediocre academic performance was not acceptable, when age was not an excuse for physical decline, when a bad childhood was not justification for failure in every endeavor. I don’t want a participation trophy–I want the trophy that labels me the winner. It is a sad thing to me, where we have come as a people. Looking back at my youth, I wish there were something that could have made me care, something that could have made me try. I didn’t see difficulty as a challenge, but something to be avoided, so I ran away from life.

This is where relativism, as it must, has led us. If all things are equal, winning is neither good nor bad. If all behavior is the same, then we can accept the same from a 4-star general as from a 15 year old.  The engine of our nation–its people–are in decline. I have no recipe to fix the problem. Perhaps it as Oswald Spengler believed, inevitable  like the seasons.

Our flaccid response to the humiliation in Benghazi is illustrative of the current American acceptance of defeat. I’m with Ralph Peters on this one (as usual). Our response should have been devastating. Instead, our government wrung its hands, and tweaked “talking points”. We haven’t made the world a safer place with our rhetoric. No one this side of Mother Theresa respects weakness, least of all Islamic extremists. Our collegiate theorems have not trumped the reality of war: You must kill the enemy until he stops fighting. Rest assured he’s trying to do the same thing.

Bread and Circuses

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Americans have cast their vote. And I won’t sit here and type out some cliche’ lines about the wisdom of the American people or how we all just need to get along for the next 4 years, come together, hold hands, and make it all better. Because I believe this was a stupid choice and that the last 4 years were the result of an administration that has no direction and has already weakened the American character.

Our nation is withering, but it is not because of Barack Obama, it is because of that sacred animal of democracy, “The People.” No longer is it the man that fights the good fight, that presses on despite the odds, the strong individualist who sharpens his knife, oils his rifle, and cuts his own firewood, that draws the media’s camera and the adoration of Americans. No, the greatest person in America today is “The Victim.” The man who can’t get things done is our hero. He is a victim of the system, of the weather, of his race, of his gender, of his sexual orientation, of bad genes, and of the evils of corporate empire. It is difficult not to find a victim in every man these days, and so every man is a hero of sorts, unless you run a successful business; a business man is obviously out to make victims of everyone else, and thus he is no hero.

It is not “anti-government” to say that a government can either do a few things well, or a lot of things poorly. We have chosen a government that is involved in every aspect of our lives, and we choose this both locally and nationally. We are well on our way to becoming another Greece. And what happens when a government runs out of money and tells its people that programs have to be cut? Do the people band together in unity and peace and carry on? Some maybe. But the ones that get the media attention riot and spew hatred because their bread and circuses have been taken away.

This is the perfect example of how empires die. They are rarely killed from the outside. With few exceptions, they kill themselves.

And so I do not believe in the sanctity of the people. Democracy works just fine when a democratic nation is composed of intelligent, unselfish, and strong people. We are no longer that. What was Obama’s biggest selling point to the American people? That he will give us more stuff. Is that not the tacit message? We certainly don’t want a president that will tell us we’re too fat, too stupid, and too infatuated with Kim Kardashian. Which we are. As Rush Limbaugh said, “In a nation of children, Santa Claus wins.”

Unlike others, I am not hopeful for America. I have witnessed our decline for the last 20 years, and it has been inexorable. We are teenagers with Daddy’s credit card. The values that held our society together for two centuries are all but gone. Some will say, “times change and we must change with them.” But we are exhibiting habits with which no culture has prospered for long.

As for myself, I’ll continue to cling to my guns and religion, just as did real men like Davey Crocket and Daniel Boone. The rest of America can worry about what underwear Pink is wearing this week and continue shambling toward irrelevancy.

Is supporting Israel bad for America?

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I recently had a conversation with a friend about America’s support for Israel.  He believes, as do many others, that the relationship between Israel and America is bad for America, because America can be drawn into wars that are not in its self-interest.

While I do agree that it is bad policy to form alliances which require America to go to war should an ally go to war, we in fact, have many such alliances already, yet no one seems to have a problem with France being a member of NATO, which means that if France finds itself in a existential crisis, all nations in NATO must come to her aid.  So many of the arguments against support for Israel seem to be rooted in three factors: 1) Israel, unlike France, is almost always on the verge of war, thus the consequences of our alliance is more evident. 2) Many people hate Jews. 3) The Arabs have lost several wars with Israel and have devolved, while Israel has prospered against the odds. Thus some consider the Arabs to be an underdog, picked on my a more powerful nation.

Religious beliefs aside (being a Christian, I think it’s a bad bet to take up the opposite side of the people of God), why should we not support Israel? Yes, it is true that an alliance with Israel could drag us into a war in the Middle East, but that is not a necessary condition for the alliance. For instance, Israel went to war with Hezbollah in 2006 and America did not deploy troops there.  Israel is a model of success in the Middle East. It is the only true democracy by Western standards.  Liberals should admire Israel as much as they seem to adore the Palestinians; in Israel, it’s not illegal to be gay, Muslim, Christian or even an atheist. Women stand on equal ground with men, in Israel. Israel has produced more Nobel Prizes than all the Arab nations combined, several times over. Indeed, Israel seems to be a model that the whole world could learn from.

Some argue that militant Islamists hate America because of its alliance with Israel. But is this true? This may make good propaganda for suicide bombers, but upon closer inspection,  it doesn’t hold much water. After all, China, Russia, Germany, France and many more all have problems with Muslim terrorists.

And even if it is true, that terrorists are motivated to attack the US because of its support for Israel, so what? Is America, the most powerful military force in the world, the kind of nation that backs its friends only in the good times? Do we want to abandon the alliance because Israel has enemies? What kind of friend is that? Did we abandon England in WWII because it was fighting Germany? How would are allies now view the United States if we stopped support when war seemed imminent? A friend like that will soon find himself without any friends at all. It reminds me of Afghan villagers, forced to stop cooperating with American forces because the Taliban put a gun to their heads. Not much of an image for a superpower to present.

The type of moral equivocation needed to sympathize with the Arab nations compared to Israel borders on the insane. So intent are some to “see the other side’s point”, that they cannot any longer tell good from evil. They will rant about the destruction of democracy on America, yet support totalitarian regimes in countries that hate America and everything it stands for. In those countries, unlike in Israel, the people live rather miserable lives. And guess what? It’s not Israel’s fault.