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Complacency

Reader comment on item: My Gloom: Back to September 10

Submitted by Donald W. Bales (United States), Dec 20, 2005 at 15:11

Blind, deaf and dumb (unfortunately, not mute)-that is the state of most Europeans and many of U.S. citizens.
My concerns about the United States
April 2004
First: My overriding concern is for the war with the radical Muslims. I call it World War IV. I deem the Cold War (it got very hot at times-Korea and Vietnam) to have been World War III. We won that by persistent opposition to the Communists by both Republicans and by Democrats. I give Ronald Reagan most of the credit, however. His clear denunciation of the USSR as an "Evil Empire," and his pressure on them by preventing the importation of oil handling equipment thereby cutting off the only real source of hard currency and his threat of SDI made the burden on their economy more than it could tolerate. Whether SDI was feasible is beside the point. The Soviets didn't know that it wasn't feasible and they couldn't afford what it would have taken to match it or counter it.
Now we have a large group of people in this country who do not take the threat seriously and somehow think that there is something that we can do to change the minds of these murderous radical Muslims who want to kill everyone who doesn't follow their brand of Islam. It doesn't seem to matter whether those killed are Jews, Christians, or Muslims who do not follow the Wahabbi line. It is my view that Iraq is pivotal in this war. The time for deciding whether we should be there is past. We are there and we have an obligation to those who have died, who are serving, and to those who are paying for it that it all not be in vain. At the least, Iraq can no longer be a hazard for supplying money and WMD's to terrorist groups.
It is my belief that Iraq had WMD's-as it was of the UN, and all the intelligence services of the world, and, indeed, of many of the Democrats who by hindsight say we should have known that none would be found. The delay occasioned by going back to the UN gave plenty of time to conceal, destroy, and transport the WMD's out of the country-possibly to the Becka'a valley in Lebanon or to somewhere in Syria.
The consequences of failing to win the war on the radical Muslims or to fail to control their activities would mean the end of the whole Western world. It is beyond me why the liberal elite in Europe do not understand that they would be next if the U.S. goes down.
Second: The failure of our education system is next. This is particularly true for the inner city K-12. The blacks and also the poor whites are not being educated to the level required for the students to be able to function in the modern world. When the average student in India can write English better than the average student in the U.S., we are really in trouble. In addition to the poor learning of the basics, we have indoctrination with politically correct notions. One of the most pernicious is the idea that somehow the U.S. is a bad country and that we should be ashamed of it and its actions. Granted the U.S. is not perfect, but we are not responsible for all the problems in the world.
An element in the problems is the view that all black people are victims. In addition there is a soft bigotry that says that blacks are not capable of making it without a lowering of standards. This implies that they are somehow intrinsically inferior. The black attitude against academic achievement is a serious barrier to education. Somehow the idea that it is "whitey" to want to excel in school leads many black children not to try. Added is the problem of fatherlessness. Children without functioning fathers in the home do worse on every social measure-whether it be academics, delinquency, truancy, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, crime, venereal disease, and just about every other problem that a young person can have.
Higher education has its problems as well. In spite of the desire for diversity in the student body, there is little diversity in the faculty. The percentage of Democrats and liberals is in the ninety percent range. One person told me that was because the smart people are all liberal and Democrat. I don't believe that. Academia is the last refuge for Socialists. This in spite of the fact that the experience with Socialism clearly shows that it does not work. It surely didn't work in the USSR. It had to be and is being modified in China and in Vietnam. The two remaining Stalinist regimes are basket cases both socially and economically-Cuba and North Korea. The so-called Democratic Socialist regimes in Europe have not had the burden of providing for their own defense since 1945. If they had they would have been in worse condition than they are now. Their declining birth rates and their declining death rates are providing them with more people on welfare (I include the retirees in this) and fewer workers to support them. If current trends continue, Europe will have a majority of Muslims in fifty years. Currently no Muslim country is really prepared for the modern world. When the oil runs out, they are going to be in worse trouble than they are now.
Third: The Judicial system. We have policy being made by the courts rather than by the legislature and the Constitution is being ignored. Words are being found in it that are not there. And rights are being found in it that are also not there.
In addition we have an antiquated legal system. The Constitution calls for a speedy trial and this is honored more in the breach than in the performance. We also have a variety of judge malfeasance. In addition there is jury nullification. On the other side there is jury multiplication in that awards that are obscene are made without any realization that the money has to come from somewhere-either taxes or premiums or prices paid by workers and consumers. It is forgotten that there are consequences to actions. Extreme awards in medical liability cases leads to increased premiums leading doctors to quit doing procedures that may lead to suits, to retiring early, or to moving to another state. Another result of all this is a whole crowd of new millionaires-lawyers who get most of the awards from the lawsuits.
Fourth: The decline of the family. Now we have too many out-of-wedlock births. This leads to poverty for the mother and the child. It also sets the stage for problems for the children: drug and alcohol use, poor school performance, truancy, crime, teen-age pregnancy, marital failure, and depression. When children do not have a functioning father, the boys and girls do not have a model of what a man, a father, or a husband should be.
Fifth: The trade imbalance. It is my opinion that neither persons nor countries can continually live beyond their means. There must inevitably be a breakdown.
Sixth: Excessive spending. Pork is not productive spending. It may give jobs to some who administer and do the work on the pork products, but it is not a rewarding process for the economy as a whole.
Seventh: Big government. The more government we have the less freedom. Now the government is involved in more and more of the details of people's lives. It is not possible to make laws to cover every aspect of human activity. And someone must enforce those laws and courts must deal with them. That brings it back to individual or collective (juries) decision making.
Eighth: Racism. Now we seem to have more reverse racism and less direct racism. That is, there is less mistreatment of blacks and more mistreatment of whites. Every time one group gets special privileges over and above the privileges of other groups, it means discrimination on the basis of race. If it was wrong when it was done to blacks, it is wrong when it is done to whites.
Ninth: Lawlessness. It seems that certain groups do not believe in punishment. The same don't seem to believe in evil or badness. Every bad behavior is either medicalized or socialized. The person is mentally ill, and, therefore, not responsible for the misdeed, and is put in a mental hospital and put on treatment. Then some psychiatrist pronounces the person well and they are released. Or else the problem is societal-poverty, ignorance, bad parenting, racism, or some other social ill so that person is really not responsible either. Sometimes it seems the victims of crime are forgotten.
Then there is the problem of some city police being forbidden to report illegal immigrants who are arrested for a felony to the INS. Added to this is elected officials illegally marrying men to men or women to women when clearly such an act is illegal.

Tenth: Illegal immigrants. We have several million illegal immigrants in the U.S. Is it eight million? Or does anyone really know. I perceive poor control of the borders, poor control even at entry points, poor monitoring of visas given to visitors, very few deportations, and, in general, no real attempt at enforcing the laws. It is said that the Republicans want them for cheap labor, and the Democrats want them for cheap votes. If illegals are voting, I think it is wrong. Of course, many of them have relatives who are citizens and they can vote.
This is going to lead to the U.S. being bilingual. We have enough divisions in our society without losing a national language. I do not want to have the U.S. take up the social views of the countries that most of these immigrants come from. Another hazard of uncontrolled immigration is national security. How can we be sure that some of the Muslims are not agents for groups that want to destroy the U.S. and all it stands for?
Eleventh: The national debt. We will some day have to pay the piper.
Twelfth: The general decline in behavior. We have seen a coarsening of language and a decline in common courtesy. We have become accepting of lying, stealing, drug use, and lack of compassion for others. We have seen a decline in social capital. People don't relate to others as they did. Clubs, service organizations, gathering of groups, and interaction of neighbors and families seems to be less and has been well documented in the book, "Bowling Alone."
Thirteenth: Decline of the family. Divorce is rampant. In spite of the belief of some, divorce does adversely effect the children. Infidelity may have always occurred, but it seems more common and is more accepted than it used to be.
Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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