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Americans Are Too Stupid for Freedom

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There is only one conclusion a sensible person can come to with regard to the state of the nation this past year.

Americans are too stupid for freedom.

Before every one of the elitist academician Marxist-Socialist-Progressive-Democrats (some of whom may be related to me) jump down from their pedestals, fists first, tongues lashing, let me preface this post by saying I am not a Republican. The past month or so has me questioning whether or not I’m an Independent. My beliefs now lean heavily toward Libertarian.

I care not one whit about either major party, except to say that I firmly believe both are the root cause for most of the trouble we are now experiencing. I do care about our country, which has now been faltering more often than setting a good example.

In my business, I talk to people all day long. Teenagers, parents of teenagers, old people, government officials and government workers. Many folks do not know how to piece together enough coherent sentences to make a business telephone conversation. It’s apparent that this nation has been suffering from a “dumbing down” effect for a long, long time.

For example, take our schools. Forget the English language and literature. Most kids (and their parents) these days are unfamiliar with national geography including our states and capitals. It’s no wonder then that they do not know world geography or world events. They believe history is what happened the last ten years, and most have no intricate knowledge of the rich heritage of this country and how it came into being.

The modern American doesn’t know how to make anything anymore. Walk into any store, where a good percentage of the merchandise comes from somewhere else. Standing in a long line in Joanne's Fabrics, I picked up every single chachki for sale along the way to the register. Everything I touched had been made in China.

But it’s not just merchandise. Many people wouldn’t know how to feed themselves if the food didn’t come premade and microwaveable. I stopped frequenting a local Kroger when they took out the butcher and fish shop to enlarge the freezer section for all of the “convenience” food.

Instead of using utensils to chop vegetables, we buy them already sliced, or buy a SlapChop. Instead of reading or learning a skill, we vegetate in front of the TV or computer. Instead of puzzling through our problems, we want a quick fix. Instead of working hard, we count on hitting the lottery. We want the easy way out.

America has somehow lost its mojo. Once we had ethics, now we choose corruption. We’ve become a nation of lazy mush, one that seldom uses their brains or hands to create or work.

Is it any wonder that our government decides to step in and solve the “problems” of the people? First the bailout of the banking industry, then the auto companies, the cap and trade bill and now health care. There’s cash for clunkers, cash for refrigerators, and cash for golf carts. Next up: newspaper bailouts. In the meantime, there are promises for free college tuition, free broadband access, free food and free money.

“Free?” Nothing is free, not even freedom.

In my long life, I’ve had a bank or credit account gone bad, bought and sold many automobiles and learned to be environmentally conscious. I’ve even learned to shop for health care, because, you see, I do not have the benefit of a Cadillac health insurance policy provided by my employer. I’m not a US Congressman with the best plan. I don’t have dental or eye care coverage. When you have to take your life into your own hands, you learn to shop around. You manage.

We’ve all heard the sound bites of our elected officials. They think we are too stupid to make our own decisions. They won’t read the bills put before them and some do not want them posted online for the interested public to read. They laugh at us if we reasonably question their stand or offer our opinion. They ridicule the grassroots Tea Party movement for their mere existence.

What some people hear is “I’m going to take care of you.” Some people I know listened to Candidate Obama’s well-crafted presentation and actually believed that by voting for him, they would automatically get a check. During a recent near-riot in downtown Detroit where applications were being handed out to the city’s poor, people believed that the money was coming from “Obama’s stash.” In actuality, like the cash for clunkers program, it’s coming from all of us.

Now the administration has decided to wage a war against a certain media outlet. My personal opinion is that all “news” outlets are the same – it’s been a long time since American journalism has been close to non-biased. I try to limit any “news” I see, but on occasion manage to flip from channel to channel to see what’s up. Do I need the government to tell me what to think about one “news” outlet or another? I think I am intelligent enough to listen to arguments on all sides and make up my own mind.

What many do not realize is that with each step toward total government control in all aspects of our lives, we all pay by giving up our freedom. I personally, and despite all of our trials and hardships, would rather suffer and slog through than to get an assist from our government.

But I am only one of a few. My lone voice is being drowned out by the masses.

Maybe our elected officials are right. Maybe we are too stupid for freedom.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.
  • I have no affiliation excpet for with america as a country not a party

    I to believe we no longer can rely on the news to give us unbiased and factual information, as for dems,repubs,and tea(lol) there all after a goal that has nothing to do with America ,all they consider Americans’ to be is voters they need to “sway” by any means necessary to achieve their goal. Also the situation currently going on in America is more complex than I think anyone really understands, considering that yes a lot of people don’t like President Obama all of a sudden because they didn’t get exactly what they wanted when they wanted it.(Americans)Yet a vast majority have no idea how the government works ,no President Obama is not a savior he’s a man who said I believe I can lead this country and help us get back to better times. that’s all a President is support to be ,that’s all a government is support to be . Here’s an example we say are schools are failing, they have no money, bad teachers ect.. well last time I checked you voted for super indented (voting you mean its not just for big elections broadcast on Fox,CNN,MSNBC ect..) or perhaps do a fundraiser ,donate to the school, I mean where has are individual creativity gone ,can we no longer fin for self if need be , do we have to always look to the government. The government only grows because you ask it to, supply and demand. One more thing and this will be my last thing , people (Americans) keep saying well when I voted it thought he’d do a better job or well he’s not doing a good job, let me clue you in on a few things . first its not a job that you show up for punch the clock and say well I’m going to do all my work to day and meet the guys at the water cooler , he has to deal with several and I do mean several different factions and people in the government , just because he’s president doesn’t mean he reins supreme across the world hell even the country it means he’s in the highest office and can be more of an influence to the world and country, but he still need the cooperation of democrats, republicans, even the tea partiers and above all else the American people in order to succeed, well lets just say these group have been a little less than supportive and have in-fact stopped and hindered his and our progress as a country , he’s got some great idea’s and yes they are idea’s unless we help to make them reality ,we as a people vote because we want to have and opinion well only a dictator can come in to office say what he wants and have it so with out the people involvement and I cont think we want that. So before you jump to the bad job conclusion lets jump on the I’ll support you for these 4yrs and lets see where it takes us .Hell we supported our last president twice why not support him at least once .

  • leosters

    Congarts to all THE DUMB ASS GOP AMERICAN
    VOTERS (Who think they are Independent HA HA HA or Liberatarians HA HA HAAAAAAAAAAA
    To say awwwww yaaaa duhhhh I think both parties are at Fault is The same as saying Duhhhhhhh I dunno who at fault Fire Baddddddd Govt Baddddddddddd money gooooooooood
    INCLUDING THE $$$ for americans out of work !
    But Americans are so Dumb & so Uneducated that some even cheer as they are bieng raped & as long as you go on blaming both parties ( Govt- badddddddd ha ha !) they know they will win back most of the seats they lost & continue their (& YOUR) March towards a 100 % corporate fascist Country where 1.5 % own everything & the rest of you 98.5 % ass hats Voters Included GET NOTHING -! NOT EVEN DECENT HEATH CARE
    SQUAT – You should go outside & rub (the freshest pile o)dog shite into your own face ! & ALL THE MEMBERS OF USA DIVERSITY TRAPPPED IN THE AMERICAN SYSTEM THAT ARE THE TRUE MAJORITY 65-70% – yet YOU allow the same white pasty face idiots + bigots to vote FOR YOU EACH TIME should follow them TO EAT THE REST !

  • Anon 8

    I actually agree with alot of comments you stated however you have clearly demonstrated the stupidity that you complain about when you describe the new health bill. The public option is a proposal to start up a not for profit insurance company that will compete with the current private insurance companies. It will intially be federal funded to start up however like any other insurance company, those who take part in the public option will pay premiums however the premiums will be far lower than the private companies because the public option is not for profit there for premiums will be more affordable. The bill will also regulate current companies and prevent current practices like dropping coverage for pre existing conditions and hiking premiums for no reasons.

    I am fraustrated because you come across education yet you fail to recognise the provisions for the public option. Its a shame the even at higher levels of educations, Americans continue to choose ignorance and this ignorance will continue to keep millions of Americans un or underinsured.

  • Doug Gatza

    Your article was a fresh breath of air Joanne. Everyone seems to have an opinion about the state of our country. Though very few people have actually done any research to back up their thoughts. It was nice to read an article that was well thought out and had no other agenda besides informing the reader.

  • STM

    No, Americans aren’t too dumb for freedom.

    If they were, they wouldn’t have it.

    Being in a constant state of flux politically – but without anything changing too dramaticfally – is one of the markers of a healthy, liberal democracy.

    There are half a dozen places in the world where you do feel truly free. America is one of them.

    But I still can’t understand how, in a nation where the policies of the two main parties aren’t that different, at any election why the defeated half of the voting population can’t just accept the situation and wait patiently for the next go at the ballot box.

    Perhaps it is, truly, that they feel they don’t have as much power as they’d like when it comes to the electoral process.

    But it’s the system that needs looking at, not the administration (of whatever ilk that might be).

    Power lobbying for influence and big donations to political parties are really the antithesis of modern liberal democracy.

  • How’s this for a theory? Americans are too stupid for freedom. And Americans are too stupid to have such an intellectually proficient President as Barack Obama. We need a dumb media whore as President like Limbaugh or Beck. They’re more consistent with our collective mentality.

  • Ruvy seems to be having an inner battle involving the pro’s and con’s of Socialism, as an alternative to Democracy. Socialism is one of those emotionally charged words that automatically eliminates serious consideration.

    Ruvy is a syndicalist socialist who has no problems with pivate enterprise because syndicalist socialism is the kind of system that embraces competition, while demanding that the internal workings of a company be equitable for the workers producing the goods or services. Democracy is not an issue for me. It does not exist in Israel at all.

    But democracy is an issue for you Americans, and syndicalist socialism is just something that most of you do not comprehend at all. As for fascism, you Americans have been living under that economic system since September or October of last year, and Obama has only done more of what Bush did in terms of bringing it forward in your lives. The utter irony is that a leftist radical, Saul Alinsky, and his student, Barry Soetoro/Barack Obama II, have been the ones to deepen a system (fascism) that they probably disapprove of. What is really amusing to me is that most of you Americans cannot see (or only perceive dimly) that fascism has taken over your country – for real.

    The dumbing down of your society is purposeful – you are not supposed to be smart enough to out-think an idiot like Obama or Bush. But the attempts to turn you into morons is only half-successful. I note the highly intelligent folk who comment here and the fact that you can’t get bullshit past them. I won’t mention the names of those I believe who are not on that list. I don’t quite kow why, but for some reason it seems important to be just a bit of a gentleman at the moment….

  • Clavos

    The media revealed that Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, are paid a salary. Not rewarded for extensive tests, procedures, and referrals.

    Actually, John, the vast majority of doctors in the country are not so rewarded; the tests they order are generally performed by other specialists, such as radiologists.

    The fundamental motivation for the excessive ordering of tests by physicians in this country is ass-covering in the event of litigation, a problem that could easily be remedied by tort reform.

    Yet tort reform is not a part of any health care reform that has a chance of passing.

  • John Lake

    Ruvy seems to be having an inner battle involving the pro’s and con’s of Socialism, as an alternative to Democracy. Socialism is one of those emotionally charged words that automatically eliminates serious consideration .
    Obama may have had a vision which went unrealized. The media revealed that Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, are paid a salary. Not rewarded for extensive tests, procedures, and referrals. You can’t get more socialist than that. But when the Doctors and their associates and their families and friends went to the street to oppose envisioned reforms, and to oppose government overseers who might further limit the unrestricted tests and procedures that the good Doctors deem essential, Obama was lost.
    Again, on the matter of the bailout. Obama had hoped for more powers of enforcement than merely demanding morality. When the powerful lobbyists become involved, radical and necessary change is doomed. But he may still prevail.
    Bush’s efforts to install an American and American Oil friendly government in Iraq nearly defines Fascism. Yet Bush accuses his adversaries of such un-American Activity. In some theories of government, Saddam Husein might have been viewed as exercising earned power to protect his government, which in many respects was visionary. He was working to bring about easing of tensions between and among disagreeing sects. When America dropped nuclear bombs at Hiroshima, and at Nagasaki, to quickly end a costly war, we were not remanded nor punished for the great number of innocent victims.
    I wonder too if religion might be becoming a little obsolete. At Facebook the young people are challenging basic concepts. Can belief in unsubstantiated ideas ever be a positive force? Religion provides a “big stick” but consider the price. In Mogadishu, teen aged Islamic extremists threatened to behead anyone not willing to pray five times daily. Maybe we should consider a “religion” in which we are encouraged, or moved by propaganda, or early learning to be good people, respecting human live to the extreme, never allowing the injustice that we have seen at detention centers, injustice to human beings, but without the weakening belief in an overseer and judge, and the threat or promise of joy or pain after this life.
    Political entities rise and fall. We are forever in a time of flux. We must forever be influenced by day to day forces and interests …and power corrupts.

  • STM

    Silas: “The U.S. Dollar is about to leave center stage in the World Bank.”

    That’s actually not a bad thing Silas. It being artificially high was good for Wall St, but not good for the country.

    If people overseas want your goods, they don’t want to be paying a price that is over the odds when they can get something just as good or better elsewhere – witness the US export car market.

    With the Aussie dollar now back at close to parity with the greenback, Aussie exporters are bemoaning it because they know it means a loss in profits as people go searching for cheaper stuff, or buy less of what’s on offer.

    A high dollar is only good when you’re going for an overseas holiday.

  • Sarah Palin couldn’t scare the shit out of Rush Limbaugh’s pain killer impacted colon. You’re right, Ruvy, the “elites” in NYC and Washington don’t give a rat’s ass about the common man. The problem is that the so-called common man is too stupid to have any self respect.

  • Bill Whittle, of Pajamas TV really defines what American poitics is all about now – the elites versus the common man. He pours on the bile, displaying what idiots from the so-called elites from the “Ivy League” schools have done to America – dumbing it down while leading it to ruin, all at the same time.

    Do any of you in Flyoverland think the elites in New York or Washington give a fuck for you at all? That is why they have taken to attacking Sarah Palin so much. She is not one of them – whether left or right, Democrat or Republican, she makes sense, she bypasses their media – and it scares the shit out of them.

  • Silas,

    It’s a bit late to run to hide under the English miniskirt that’s turning into a burqa. I’m afraid you Americans will just have to man up and deal with the stupidity you yourselves have chosen. But don’t worry – you have “the FOX-chasing Messiah” to guide you….

    heh heh….

  • They bolstered their economy with the spoils of war. Anyone can take 90% of Europe’s farmland, feed 70% of Europe, and make a profit. Roosevelt couldn’t have spent his way out of the Depression.

    I wasn’t talking about any of the acts of the Nazi régime during WWII. Everything I’m talking about happened BEFORE the Germans annexed Austria. You can’t spend your way out of a depression – you have to produce your way out. Those are just the facts of life.

  • And all this time I thought Israel was the 51st state. Seriously, though, perhaps it is time for us to hold a Constitutional Convention. It’s obvious that the framers of the present Constitution never bargained for the “wee folk” gaining the right to vote; women suffrage and, of course, emancipation of the slaves.

    The U.S. Dollar is about to leave center stage in the World Bank. IF we were smart about it, we would reconcile with the Crown and adopt the Pound as our currency before the Yuan becomes the preferred currency of the globe.

  • STM

    Yeah Joanne, of course – always room for a Yankee down here. It’s like the 51st state here. As long as you don’t arrive on a rickety boat after handing over your life savings to a people smuggler, no one complains (plenty of that happening lately with refugees. Populist politicians exist everywhere). Listening to it, you’d think the threat level from this flotilla of leaky boats was about the equal of the firepower of the US Pacific fleet.

    But the place is a long way from being full, too.

  • STM

    Clav’s even got a hat with a Crown on it.

  • All this talk from Australians, some who I know. Is there room Down Under for an immigrant, I wonder?

  • STM

    G’day Cannon,

    You’re right – you guys have been pretty good to us all, especially down here, I’ll give you that, and we’ll always be grateful, believe me. I think that’s why we like Americans in this neck of the woods. No one forgets – but in the case of Britain, I say defending the motherland once.

    The US had quite a minor role in WWI. The conflict was virtually over by the time they got there, and they arrived in about equal numbers to the British troops who arrived on the western front from the Victory over Turkey and Germany in the middle-east – although the US entry did convince the Germans that they couldn’t possibly win with the industrial might of America also ranged against them.

    It’s a pity we didn’t all stick together to stop them starting the second one.

    I’ll give you the second one, though … although not defending the Motherland. The Motherland had already done that – just, and with lots of materiel help from the US.

    Winning WWII more like it … but with a little help from your friends 🙂

    The British haven’t forgotten the US either, which must be obvious to Americans in the know, 60 years on.

    I think the Queen played The Star Spangled Banner at the Changing of the Guard on September 12, 2001, and for that year too, the US Flag flew over London from the roof of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London’s main veterans hospital – which was the first time any foreign flag had flown there in hundreds of years.

    Down here, there are numerous reminders of American involvement in WWII, including the HMAS Perth/USS Houston memorial in Melbourne, remembering the battle of the Sunda Strait.

    There are also reminders here of us helping you … in Vietnam for instance.

    The British didn’t go there – but the Crown did.

    Australia and New Zealand were involved, as you probably know.

    Which means that in no war fought by Americans since WWI has it not been allied to the Crown.

    And when you guys get a decent universal health care system, you’ll be asking yourselves why you didn’t do it earlier.

    Which is exactly what happened here in the 1970s.

    It’s taken some tweaking, though. It could do with a bit more too, just quietly, but on the whole, you have to balance that against the positive: it’s certainly great to have that financial worry taken away.

  • Cannonshop

    #30: maybe. Then again, maybe not. from a certain perspective, “The Colonies” have only fulfilled the promise George III saw in them (defending the Motherland two times, acting as a manpower sump and equipment dump in two major conflicts, etc.) After the ‘expert supervision’ from Whitehall and Windsor was removed.

    The two (actually ONE) time Great Britain was in serious danger of invasion/destruction, The U.S. acted as a good colony Should-sending millions of men and millions upon millions of tonnes of equipment to fight the enemies of the Crown.

    The only REAL difference being that the Crown didn’t have to PAY for all those men and all that gear.

    Viewed that way, it’s not much of a wonder that our kin across the pond still call us ‘The Colonies’. post-independence, we’ve been a pretty darned Good colony, even aping the Motherland’s legislative fashions (a bit late, mind-but where on earth do you think the idea that an NHS should exist CAME FROM?)

  • STM

    “It was the sentiment in favour of American self-government among the Whigs that was key”.

    However, had they known that Americans would brag about it incessantly for the next 200 years, they might have voted to keep going 🙂

  • STM

    Sign me up NOW Silas!

    Despite holding political views way to the left of what Americans might describe as “liberal”, I support the monarchy in its constitutional role and I don’t believe in the efficacy of the American political process.

    I don’t believe the US system is in any way truly representative of the will of the people and is therefore not as advertised: ie, a government for and of the people. Too much is done by politicians in the US with a nod and a wink in the corridors of power; there is too much lobbying and too much influence by people with serious wealth and power. The average Joe or Joanne ultimately has little say beyond the appeartance of having a say at the polling booth.

    Plus, the president holds the same executive role as the Queen, but with much, much, more power. In my view, the US presidency is actually far more monarchical than the monarchy of Great Britain. The Queen actually holds virtually no power in Britain and is bound by tradition (part of the law) not to interfere.

    The Queen is not the Queen of England in this country, either. She is the Queen of Australia, represented by a governor-general, and is head of state but not head of Government and therefore makes no real decisions in the running of the country.

    The Queen certainly does not interfere in our political process or go against the wishes of the Australian people or its government in these matters.

    I think Americans have a great misunderstanding of how a constitutional monarchy works.

    But it does work … and it’s been working continuously since The Glorious Revolution of 1688 that finally took away the power of the king and gave it to the people to exercise through their elected representatives in parliament.

    I have heard Americans argue that parliament has too much power, but it is kept in check by the people and the press. At least cabinet is made of elected representatives, though.

    And no law can be made by one government with the numbers in parliament that can’t be undone by a succeeding elected government. There are many checks and balances that work in our favour.

    Britain, not America, was the first of the modern, liberal democracies in the anglo-saxon tradition and was way ahead of France in this regard – a fact supported by the great thinkers of the French enlightenment (including Voltaire but not only him), who influenced the US founding fathers but who based their writings on their experience of living in England, which they considered a “superior” society compared to France because of personal and political freedoms and growing religious tolerance.

    It is also why, as many Americans don’t realise, that it was the British parliament and a change of government to the anti-war, US independence-supporting Whigs in Britain, rather than the defeat at Yorktown, that ended the American revolution.

    George, in fact, had been meddling illegally in parliament through a coterie of MPs seeking his favour and wanted to continue the war and sought the means to do so. He was denied by the Whigs, who had the numbers in parliament, and the peace process got underway. The way the war was conducted didn’t help, but it was the sentiment in favour of American self-government among the Whigs that was key.

    Our system brings actually great stability, especially when married to rule of law and electoral expediencies such as proportional representation.

    And I say if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.

    I would hate to see us go down the American path through meddling for no good reason.

    There is even a strong movement here that says we don’t need a bill of rights, since at the time of the writing of our constitution, most of those rights enumerated in the US constitution existed anyway under the laws and traditions we inherited from Britain (which is where the founding fathers got it too), and therefore have been taken to be implied.

    It is why the police here are still required to read people their rights, in wording very close to the Miranda ruling, even though that is protected under common law, not by the constitution as it is the US. It is why jury trial exists. The plea deal, which is open to abuse, doesn’t exist here. Everyone gets their day in court.

    The right to silence is regarded so seriously here that a judge will generally not even allow uncorroborated statements from police officers to be given in evidence unless they are recorded on video.

    The truth is, different paths can take you to the same place. Sometimes I wonder, though, how long it will be before America truly gets there.

    That’s the big question. Perhaps when a certain group of Americans stop deluding themselves about the myth of American exceptionalism and the US being the beacon of freedom and the light on the hill.

    America was a great idea but in practise it’s worked no better than the places from which it drew its inspiration.

    For all that, I’d still pose this question: Is it it good though, and is it as good or better than most?

    Answer: Yes.

  • I think I’ve got it! I’ll start the Constitutional Monarchist Party!

  • Silas @ #24:

    Which is exactly what Stan keeps telling you Americans, but will you listen…?


  • Recalling the Great Blackout of the early 60’s which paralyzed the Northeast, I pray daily that we have one of those again. Imagine 24 hours of no electricity, no cable, no Internet, no infomercials from Washington. Quick somebody, queue up Satchmo’s It’s a Wonderful World.

  • Butch Manlington

    Good article. Sad but I agree with what some of the commenters are saying. Neither party ever wants to rock the boat economically when they finally come into power which can have bad repercussions. I sympathize with Libertarians on that issue.

    About “global dumbening.” I’m taking pre-orders for my book thats coming out soon called: Everything I Learned, I Learned From My iPhone. Any takers?

  • I love this piece. We spent the week with friends who were in from Australia. Whenever we’re together discussions inevitably turn to politics in both countries. This time around I asked about why Australia isn’t a Republic. And the answer was quite spot on. My friend’s reply was, “We’re not quite ready to be a Republic because we haven’t got this right yet. All we have to do is reference you here in the States. IF you had a Prime Minister and the Crown, you wouldn’t be in such a state of disarray.”

    I agree. Your Majesty, take us back.

  • Zedd: I am only relaying what I heard people (who I know and who work for me) said because THEY believed it. There was nothing I could say to them to get them to believe otherwise. I could not find the original video I caught of the recent Detroit near riot –on the radio, but I distinctly heard people saying aloud these exact sentiments. I’m no journalist but I’m not making up these conversations.

  • Zedd


    I think your article was ill considered. “Once we had ethics”… whaaaa? When? You also make the ridiculous assumption that people are as light as you may very well be (based on what you’ve written in this article). Who votes for a President to get a check?? Why did you even say that? Are you playing the ditsy girl or are you serious? Do you really believe that? Are you really that clueless?

    “Maybe our elected officials are right. Maybe we are too stupid for freedom”

    Maybe SOME people are….

    Let’s all hope you had an off day. Wow.

  • Baronius

    Ruvy, Germany didn’t prosper simply through increased production. They stopped paying off their national debt and confiscated private property, even early in the Nazi regime. They bolstered their economy with the spoils of war. Anyone can take 90% of Europe’s farmland, feed 70% of Europe, and make a profit. Roosevelt couldn’t have spent his way out of the Depression.

    Cannon, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to question anyone if you weren’t on the right committee. You’d have to trust your staff. I don’t doubt the Colonel’s intelligence, only his expertise. At some point he’s going to say, “I don’t know anything about soybeans, but 95% of my Republican colleagues are calling this unnecessary spending”. He shouldn’t waste his time reading the bill when there are NATO commanders lined up for hearings.

    I mean, look at BC politics. Other than Dave, none of us are experts on everything. I’m no expert on health care, but if I were in Congress, I wouldn’t have to read HR 3200 to know how I’d vote on it.

  • Baronius

    I hadn’t noticed that Geithner was labelled a libertarian. That’s nonsense.

  • John Lake

    As Baronius mentioned in ‘9’ above, I not absolutly certain that the politicians aren’t reading the bills. In theory they and their staffs have evolved a strict idea of they what they expect from a proposal, and search for one that satisfies that need.
    There have been theories of economics and such brought forth that illustrated to opposite side of the coin.I recall thinking how simplistic and foolish it was for George Walker Bush to establish his bottom line on economics:
    We will give them money, they will spend it!
    Ignore the “law of diminishing returns” – …but that was a long time ago.
    As many of the posts at this outlet show, there is a rising tide in opposition to the ever increading corruption in government. And that’s good.

  • I admit, I was once a news junkie. 9-11 ended that for me. I spent the entire month afterward glued to the TV and almost had a nervous breakdown as a result. This is bad, very bad. “News” for the most part is negative, and negativity breeds more of the same.

    My ideas were reinforced by reading Jeffrey Gitomer, who is a motivational seller. He limits himself to five minutes of “news” each day.

    I have admitted that I watch all news outlets, but in moderation. Yes, even Rachel Maddow. However, since being on the “news” diet, I can only stomach so much. Where do I get my info? By reading voraciously, books and online. I also read newspapers. I’m not keyed into one outlet, nor do I believe everything I read.

    That’s the sensible way.

  • … Rooseveltian fascism and they can’t let go of all the so called protections that bastard instituted in the government – FDIC, Social Security, Securities and Exchange commission. You know all the agencies that were to protect us from ourselves, but don’t.

    Roosevelt’s mildly fascistic policies did protect Americans from themselves – until the American Congress gutted the protections in them in the 1980’s under Reagan and in the 1990’s under Clinton.

    Kenn, you miss a salient point forgotten – evil avoided is often forgotten entirely. Had Roosevelt not done something to protect Americans in one way or another from the starvation, depression, lack of dignity and pain of dispossession that came from the stock market crash brought upon them by selfish Wall Street bankers, there would have been a communist revolution in the States. Americans were sick of capitalism and its exploitative traits – and were ready to kill the capitalists en masse. There would have been a civil war in the 1930’s akin to Spain’s had Roosevelt not acted with decisiveness when he did. I remember very well the discussions my parents had about how there had almost been a revolution in 1932 in the States. Farmers drove off shriffs trying to repossess farms, seeing off marshalls with sawed off shotguns.

    I know that what I say below will be distorted by all sorts of moronic idiots whose brains are smaller than marmosets, but let’s compare Roosevelt with Hitler for a moment to see why Roosevelt’s actions did not bring America out of the economic doldrums – while Hitler succeeded in just that goal in Germany.

    Hitler had a “positive” goal – that of re-molding German society to conquer the world; he utilized every tool available to him to accomplish this re-molding. And the big tool he used was production – hence the lesson: you produce yourself out of a recession and economic abyss.

    Roosevelt had no such goal. His goal was economic recovery – with the particular goal of preventing a communist revolution. So, he set a thief, Joe Kennedy, over the thieves at Wall Street, he tried to prevent the collapse of the banks with a bank holiday, and then the devaluation of the currency and withdrawal of gold from circulation, he tried to restore faith in bank depositss with the FDIC, while preventing banks from again speculating in the market. He tried to restore workers’ faith in factories with a federally mandated 8 hour day, a federally mandated minimu wage, Social Security and a national program of Workmens Comp. While he succeeded, all these programs did not spark production – and while you can (if you do not owe oodles of billions of dollars overseas) spend your way out of the worst aspects of an economic collapse, it is production that actually gets you out of the abyss. This did not occur in the States until the States were forced to produce weapons to protect England and later itself.

    The Austrian banking system collpased in 1931. Germany nearly went into a civil war before 1933. Spain did go into a civil war. A socialist goverment in the UK could do nothing to alleviate the depression there. French money lost its value altogether, as did the money in Austria, Italy and almost all of the rest debt-ridden Europe. The Europeans did not have the wherewithal to overspend and overspend the way the Americans did and suffered terribly until after WWII and a generous American people set them arights.

  • Kenn Jacobine


    Excellent piece! I think Americans are too stupid for freedom that is why we have this massive nanny state.

    I mean post #12 says it all: “The dumbest people on earth are the dumbos that fell for that Libertarian Alan Greenspan Larry Summers Bob Rubin Tim Geithner Ayn Rand idiocy about unregulated free markets!”

    These guys are crony capitalists not libertarians. But, most Americans will buy this B.S. and not know any better.

    I also think Americans are afraid of freedom. The “Greatest Generation” grew up with Rooseveltian fascism and they can’t let go of all the so called protections that bastard instituted in the government – FDIC, Social Security, Securities and Exchange commission. You know all the agencies that were to protect us from ourselves, but don’t.

    Welcome to the libertarian side.

  • Cannonshop

    #11: First off:

    Your example is one of an “Executive” decision-what’s it doing on the desk of a Legislator? We have agencies with officials to make decisions on those scores, officials who derive their power from existing laws passed by Congress regarding public safety and food quality. (FDA anyone? Bueller?)

    But…if Congress has to do the Chief Executive’s job of getting HIS people to do THEIRS, then I’d have to ask CDC to make their case, and Treasury to make THEIR case, weigh it, and as Colonels are Officers (and therefore had to pass College courses, including Logic and/or higher maths, basic science requirements, etc.) I’d probably send out staffers to find me four experts on the subject with opposing views to explain it to me-and make ’em (or pay ’em) to explain it until I understood.

    ‘Cause, y’know, that’s what a Colonel would do-get his staff and any other accessable experts to explain the situation, and make ’em keep trying until he understands it enough to make a decision.

    If time-pressure is involved, tell Treasury to suck it up and find the money somewhere in their budget, Or justify why it’s not necessary.

  • This is the latest of several articles in which Joanne opines very confidently about economics and politics and accompanies this by bragging that she never reads or watches the news.

    Perhaps she just plugs a coax cable directly into the base of her skull and downloads ‘pure facts,’ untainted by any bias.

    You have to get your knowledge of the world from somewhere. Lumping all journalism together as if it’s all exactly the same in quality and intention — well, all this proves is your own ignorance about journalism.

    You have to get information from various sources and then use the brains God gave you to sort it out. No intelligent person just accepts it all at face value…and no intelligent person rejects it all, en masse, either.

  • I typically claim to be “apolitical” and boast of my 9 year “news fast”. You’ve lured me into the fray here.
    All too often, political satire is too close to the truth for comfort as was the case in the movie, “Bullworth”. I think he got it right. As long as 95% of the money is controlled by 5% of the population, it doesn’t matter which party is in control. I’m with you Joanne. It sounds like if I have to pick a party, the Libertarians are better than the alternatives!

  • Libertarians Are Dumb

    The dumbest people on earth are the dumbos that fell for that Libertarian Alan Greenspan Larry Summers Bob Rubin Tim Geithner Ayn Rand idiocy about unregulated free markets!

    What a hoax!

    Just think: the whole US economy brought down by a bad clarinetist in thrall to a lousy novelist!

    And look at all the dummies who fell for it!

  • Baronius

    Cannon, imagine you’re a former Colonel, now representing the Fort Benning area in Congress. You’re on the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees. The CDC is pushing for 20-day quarantines on Chilean genetically-engineered soybeans, but Customs insists that they’ll need a .2% budget increase to accomodate it. What’s your position?

  • Cannonshop

    #9 I don’t think it’s rational to pass a law you don’t understand, myself.

  • Baronius

    Joanne, are you complaining that the citizens aren’t reading the legislation, or the legislators aren’t? It might sound weird, but I think it’s more important that the voters have the chance to read it than the congressmen necessarily read it.

    A member of Congress should have a staff and his party’s whip telling him what’s in a bill. He’s the coach, and it’s his responsibility to assemble a winning team, but he doesn’t have to be on the field. I’d like to see legislation shorter and clearer, but given the level of detail in bills as they are currently written, it’d be unfair to expect a congressman to understand every aspect of every law.

  • Joanne,

    The dumbing down of Amrica was not “accidental”, it was purposeful. A nation of tinkerers whose main book of reference is a Bible or a Farmer’s Almanac is very well educated – when you compare them to the “professionals” surrounding you today.

    It’s hard to bullshit a tinkerer. He (or she) understands how things work from the inside. But if everything you have is made by slaves in China and your very car is a fancy computer that takes a machine to analyze its problems, you can be taken for all sorts of rides – and not just in your car.

    And America has been taken for one bitch of a ride. And a whole bunch of you are still being taken for rides and do not even realize it.

  • Clavos

    ergo the so-called “stimulus” package which was really a bacon explosion.

    Excellent description! Apropos and funny!

  • I suppose it really bothers me that no one is researching, reading or examining these bills because we have the same closed-door mentality in Michigan. Why should just a few legislators write and pass the bills? I don’t trust anyone that much. It only makes sense to read a legal document. Do you buy a car or a house without reading the paperwork? Besides the inclination for me to think that some of these people cannot understand the bills (therefore they don’t bother to read them), passing laws in this manner means that a lot of things can be slipped in on the sly, ergo the so-called “stimulus” package which was really a bacon explosion.

  • Baronius

    Hey, Clav. Interesting that we both went on the same digression, but from different starting points. What a mess the public education system is!

  • Baronius

    Joanne, I’m not bothered by Congressional health care benefits. There’s no good reason why a person’s insurance should be linked to his employment, but since that’s the situation in America, I don’t begrudge a congressman his perks or his pay. There’s no rule that we should all have the same health care benefits.

    (As a side note, there is an expectation that we should all have access to equivalent education. It bothers me a great deal that political figures should send their children to private schools. Special security concerns aside, of course.)

    You refer to another fact that people have been bashing Congress with, that congressmen don’t read the legislation. I don’t understand why that upsets people.

  • Clavos

    As for the dumbing down of America, I’d say that’s mostly a misnomer and is simply a side effect of a highly technological society.

    I disagree. I don’t think Americans as a population are any less intelligent than they once were, but they certainly are less well educated these days.

    For confirmation of this, I offer the fact that, my mother in law, a college English professor, is obliged to teach at least one course of remedial English for incoming freshmen every quarter. She has worked at three different universities in as many states, and all of them have found it necessary to have these courses.

    The quality of American public school education is reprehensible, especially when compared with similar schooling in Europe and Asia.

  • Clavos

    …one entrenched side is allowed to basically buy votes from the poor while the other conspires with big business using graft and corruption to steal the country.

    Quoted for Truth.

  • Doug Hunter

    Congratulations on coming to the realization that you’re a libertarian, be prepared for much scorn and derision. It’s a long uphill battle, one entrenched side is allowed to basically buy votes from the poor while the other conspires with big business using graft and corruption to steal the country. Libertarian principles don’t allow you to participate in either manner so your voice will often be drowned out.

    As for the dumbing down of America, I’d say that’s mostly a misnomer and is simply a side effect of a highly technological society. There’s no easy answer here.