Sunday, March 20, 2011

And Now A Brief Word From History

Context, you might ask?

It's not just old hippies who have acid flashbacks. Considering some of the reactions to the peaceful protests in the US against various authoritarian government agendas.

Discredit to the commentators from Freeperville (Welcome to Free Republic! America's exclusive site for God, Family, Country, Life & Liberty constitutional conservative activists! ) in a thread titled Wisconsin Teachers Lead Students in Anti-Walker Chants (thugs instruct children in the capitol)
To: Libloather
> Are they indoctrinating their pupils? You bet your @$$ that's exactly what they've been doing since the 1960s.
> Where are the decent people of Wisconsin?
Working to support these slugs.
Or cleaning and oiling their rifles.
8 posted on March-19-11 10:11:34 AM by Flatus I. Maximus (Everything you know about McCarthyism is wrong.)

To: bigbob
It’s that bad. Isn’t it?

9 posted on March-19-11 10:28:03 AM by GVnana

To: Libloather
It’s the way WI “repents” for having twice elected Joe McCarthy to the Senate.

10 posted on March-19-11 11:02:14 AM by Theodore R. (John Boehner just surrendered the only weapon with which he had to fight. What does OH see in him?)

To: sanjuanbob
"Where are the decent people of Wisconsin? Why no rallys?"Working and earning a living. It's long past time to go Galt.
So, basically, it's the old "Punch a Hippie for Jesus" crowd.

The relevance is underlined in midst of what we are told to be a deficit crisis that (obviousl) threatens world peace and thereby (somehow) justifies all kinds of "austerities" imposed upon those least able to afford them. But again, somehow, the same geopolitical forces that require choking off all arguably positive aid to people in need at the same time necessitates breathtakingly expensive and seemingly whimsical foreign adventures that will cost even more blood and treasure and will assuredly result in more dead, homeless, wounded and starving brown people far away.

You understand, it's not that I'm arguing for or against austerity or another war; I just find it hard to see how both arguments are compelling at the same time.

Reading the reactions against public protest of the naked abuse of authority really brings me back to the bad old days; growing up reading about the Kent State Massacre, the police riot during the Chicago Democratic Convention, the particularly vicious and mean-spirited fights about liberalizing divorce laws, carving out recognition that women have human rights, the offensive and idiotic opposition to and backlash against simple things like handicapped accessibly laws. And not so much the official lines - it's the watercooler aguments and letters to the editor that on occasion gave evidence of the sort of slack-jawed bigotry that empowered Nixon's "Southern Strategy."

But the problem with Billy-Bob ain't so much that he hates black folk. He hates fiercely and equitably, anyone who appears the slightest bit different, to the point where such folks routinely use the term "diversity" as a curse word, who are offended by the idea that they should be expected to tolerate differences in other people that do not affect them in the slightest. Government is expected to reflect his views; that it's wrong when it helps different people, and it's right when it punishes people for being different than him.

That's your modern social conservatism in a nutshell, save that it's not modern at all. I noted it as a child growing up in the late sixties and before then, H.L Mencken, C.S. Lewis and Mark Twain have all in their way shed light into the dark regions of the prudish and conventional soul. To cite H.L;

Mencken's Creed

     I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind - that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.
     I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious.
     I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty...
     I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect.
     I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech...
     I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run.
     I believe in the reality of progress.
     I - But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.

Of course, they were all freethinkers, even C.S. Lewis, in his way.

Who the hell could be against making it easier for people in wheelchairs going to church, holding a job or getting into public libraries? "Good Christians."

And every once in a while, you get an insight into what the people elected to office really think, when they believe they are in the company of  "Right Thinking People."

A New Hampshire lawmaker resigned Monday amid criticism for suggesting to a constituent that the state ship people with disabilities to Siberia.
Rep. Martin Harty, a 91-year-old first-term Republican in the state’s House of Representatives, drew fire after it became public that he told a constituent that “the world is too populated” with “too many defective people.”
“I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population,” Harty continued, according to the constituent’s account. He specified that he was referring to “the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions.”
When questioned about the comments last week, Harty was unapologetic and told the Concord Monitor that he was “just kidding.”
But on Monday Harty submitted his letter of resignation to state House Speaker William O’Brien.
“With all the slightly unfavorable publicity I’ve been getting the last few days, I’ll never be an effective lawmaker,” Harty wrote in the handwritten letter. “Sorry my big mouth caused this furor.”
Harty’s resignation will become official Tuesday when his letter of resignation is read on the House floor.

Yeah, I'm sure these actual Gulag victims would have laughed with him.

I think we can all be grateful that his legislative effectiveness has been impaired. But he's not resigning because he has shamefully realized the ideas expressed are immoral and odious - no, it's due to an impolitic indiscretion that might hamper "the good work."

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