June 11, 2009

Why are people so angry?

Shepherd Smith of Fox News Responds to a Barrage of Angry E-mail

A couple days ago I uncovered an odd internet rumor. Apparently sometime last spring someone in Pres. Obama's inner circle promised the Russians that "all Americans will have their guns confiscated by September". I laughed and dismissed it as just another wild internet hoax.

Now I see this report and I see the many Digg participants who are frightened silly that some wacko with a gun is going to come knock on their door and shoot them for supporting Pres. Obama. Two incidents in 11 days is tragic, and nothing more. There might be more incidents, there might even be a big one of some kind, but that does not indicate a growing trend of hatred for Pres. Obama.

Instead of panicking over imagined encounters with crazed gunmen, somebody needs to be asking why so many people are so angry. This anger might manifest as imagined slights over Pres. Obama's birth certificate (which has already been made available to the public so I cannot imagine why anyone would hold onto this delusion), but that is not the source of the anger.

For the past thirty years of my adult life I have watched in horror as the nation my family fought and died to create and build has drifted further and further away from the ideal of individual liberty my ancestors put into ink and parchment and into a quagmire of "safety regulations" that protect no one while making it almost impossible to buy a car big enough to hold a family of five, build a house with more than two bedrooms, buy a house for anyone making less than a cool million a year, or find a job that pays well enough to keep a family of five in food, clothing, and decent shelter.

The core body of American people, the hardworking blue collar class that might not have a high school diploma but can build bridges, lay highways, erect skyscrapers, and then maintain everything we depend on to live and prosper, has been squeezed out of the American dream by global conglomerates who build factories in Mexico, China, or Thailand and then import "domestic" brands, brands whose 24/7 call-in support centers are located in India, Malaysia, or Taiwan. Globalization has brought new wealth to nations that thirty years ago could barely feed their own people, but the American worker has borne the cost of this transfer of wealth from the world's wealthiest economy into the world's poorest.

This is why people are angry and this why they are lashing out at delusions and phobias. Our nation has abandoned the very people that made it great and spent an entire generation making the rest of the world wealthy. The Baby Boom generation not only sold out their early ideals of self-sufficiency and strong, self-made communities, they have sold out the very nation that gave them the opportunity to achieve so much with so little.

So, yeah. People are angry. And yes, there is a very real possibility of an armed rebellion in America's immediate future, but to my mind, this anger is not the fault of the people who own guns, believe in the Constitution, go to church on Sunday, and believe all life is sacred, especially unborn babies and small children. The fault lies directly in the bloodied hands of the selfish, greedy, narcissistic generation that spent their drug-abusing youth chasing a Marxist utopia, then went back to school, got MBAs, and have spent their middle-age and early senior years destroying everything that made America great to begin with.

5% of Americans control 90% of the nation's wealth. That, and that alone, is the real problem.

June 10, 2009

Repeating myself...

...is in poor taste. I realize this, but this video is too important to ignore.

The great crisis facing our nation at this moment in time is not debt, nor an out of control Congress, nor an apologetic president. The great crisis that is leading irrevocably to the end of the greatest nation the world has ever known is a crisis of identity. We Americans have lost the vision of our forefathers. We have taken upon our shoulders a responsibility no nation on earth can carry: the very salvation of the world itself.

We are not responsible for the failures of the IMF. We are not responsible for the blind hatred of Al Qaeda and their allies. We are not responsible for the future of the Chinese people. We are, first and foremost, responsible to ourselves and our children. If we allow our nation to bury itself in debt on the false assumption that this impossible burden will provide temporary relief for a time of economic downturn than we deserve to fail even as Rome failed, even as the Ottomans failed, even as the Ming failed, even as every nation of fools down through history who took upon themselves the responsibility to "provide for the collective good" have failed.

Each individual, no matter how well born or how low born, how healthy or how sick, each individual must be responsible for their own life. If they have the ability to help those immediately around them, and if they use it, then that is even better, but it is not their responsibility.

America will fail, and will fail soon, unless we, the American people, relearn the lessons of our forefathers and take responsibility for the future of our nation.

It's not up to Obama. It's up to you.

June 08, 2009

Freedom vs. Reality

The Freeman Online is railing against the fence being built along the Mexican/U.S. border.

There is no single issue where I find myself more divided than the issue of immigration. My wife is Japanese and the labyrinth of paperwork and interviews necessary to gain permission for her to live with me in America is a nightmare that must be lived to be believed. Our 26th wedding anniversary is coming up in a few days, and we are still obligated to go through the same snarl of bureaucratic insanity as newlyweds on the off-chance that some crime might be brewing in the background.

I also lived in the heart of the California wine country all through my adolescence. There were many high school students who would work alongside the Mexican and South American field workers during the harvest season. There was not a single American adult anywhere in the valley willing to do this work. Why? Because after spending ten hours of grueling labor in the hottest part of summer a picker received $20. A hundred dollars a week for some of the most backbreaking, torturous labor intensive work available anywhere. In those days that hundred dollars a week could buy a comfortable middle class life in Mexico and in most of South America, or it could keep a high school kid in gasoline and leave enough extra for a Saturday night date, but it could not support a married couple living in the valley, let alone a family.

The only reason vineyard owners and wineries could get away with such insane wages was the presence of tens of thousands of illegal migrant workers from Mexico and South America. Every time you pay $10 for a bottle of California wine you are contributing to the most horrific and exploitive labor system in existence in the modern world. Those cheap bulk wines of good quality would not be anywhere near as cheap if there did not exist this ready pool of highly exploitive labor more than willing to endure oppressive work conditions in order to feed a family living in a region of economic inequality that is medieval in severity.

I would love to support open borders. I would love to never carry a passport again and never sit through another immigration interview. I would hate to see the already oppressive work conditions prevalent throughout the California agricultural community grow even worse as poor, despondent, desperate people from all over the world flocked to California in order to spend their days toiling under the California sun in exchange for a few pennies.

I believe in liberty, I also believe in common sense. Freedom is the rarest commodity available in today's world and it is rapidly disappearing entirely. The problem is that there are far too many greedy, selfish, egocentric human beings who refuse to accept that their freedom ends where another person's freedom begins. Oppression and tyranny of all kinds is repugnant to anyone with eyes to recognize it for what it is. We cannot allow a tyranny of government to crush free enterprise, but neither can we allow a tyranny of free enterprise to enslave those who do not have access to capital.

I do not know where the middle ground lies. I only know that if we do not find it soon it will be settled violently and that is not a viable solution for anyone.

June 05, 2009

Fine words, high ideals, now what?

Sometimes I don't know what to think. I happened to log on last night just in time to watch Pres. Obama's speech from beginning to end. As always, I was deeply impressed with his message. In many ways, I find myself identifying with Barack Obama the man, especially in the attitudes he professes concerning relations in the Middle East, the role of government, and the failures of the past.

Unfortunately, almost every time he crafts a policy something gets lost in translation. He talks about government of, by and for the people, then ignores public demands to reverse TARP and adds another trillion dollars to the pot besides. He expresses support for Israel's right to exist, then sends over $120 million to the Gaza Strip from a fund that legally has only one purpose: resettling oppressed people in the United States and providing them a stipend to live on for up to two years. He claims no desire to hamper the working of a free market, then has the government buy a controlling stake in GM.

So I'm a little confused. I find myself respecting everything he says, and hating everything he does. Is something getting lost in translation or is he using a different English language than I am?

Now he wants to bring peace to the Middle East by supporting both the nation of Israel and the terrorists dedicated to its destruction. Something tells me I'm about to be disappointed again.

June 02, 2009

This is why I will never buy into a "managed" community!

I owned a small parcel in Colorado that was part of a "managed community". At first, it was cool. The homeowner's association president was one of the first people to settle there. He displayed an American flag in his front yard and was a retired military man, though I don't recall which branch.

Then he died. I was not living there yet, and was faced with a vote for a new association president between six people with no information about them, so I voted for the man's son. He lost. The new president pushed through a new set of covenants which basically transformed the entire community into a liberal paradise with an eco-agenda like nothing I have ever seen. Recycled building materials, solar energy, biodegradable decorations, organic yards, the whole kit and kaboodle. This "ethically minded" and "community-centered" president then ran off with his neighbor's wife and took the entire homeowner's association fund with him.

Property values plummeted, people moved away, and my pleasant country lot was suddenly worth less than the annual taxes the county and state assessed, let alone the homeowner's association fee. I wrote a letter to the county, the state, and the homeowner's association telling all three they could fight over the land in court, I was never sending any of them another check.

Homeowner's association = communism in action. Don't let anyone convince you differently.