The Left Have Their Own Version of Chess
And they treat people like pawns in a game
For all of its hype and bluster, Liberalism is steeped in impatience, the here and now, finding the easy way, delusion and fanciful thinking, excuses and pointing fingers at others, cheating and bending the rules, selfishness, mocking tradition and history, ignoring mistakes and not letting the truth get in the way of propaganda, demonizing and destroying opponents, and giving value to [chess] pieces based on what they can do instead of their own unique, inherent qualities.
One only need look at the way the Left rushes forth half-baked, poorly defined, selfishly motivated legislation such as the Dream Act and the Fair Use Doctrine. These people slap together a few social good mantras, prop up a handful of weeping families with tearful tales, wave a few signs displaying clever accusations and supposedly profound insights, add a few violins and pathetic strips of patriotism, and expect the sea to divide, mountains to spread, and the populace to either bow at their feet or roll over and play stupid. Typically, the Left’s definition of strategy is to run over, mock, demonize, terrorize and/or ignore the opposition, which is proclaimed to be and painted by their pet media as ignorant, intolerant, stupid, and/or dangerous.
The Left’s impatience is most probably born from the fact that even they realize that their ideas, insights, and pet agendas have the shelf life of vanilla ice cream under a hot July sun. They cannot plan a few moves ahead because they either do not care what is around the bend or figure that the car wreck they will eventually cause is not something they want to foresee. One does not push myopia while offering glasses, telescopes, or microscopes.
Likewise, being realistic and taking responsibility is not how the Left rolls. Theirs is a world of illusions, delusions, excuses, and pointing fingers which, consistent with the Left’s genetic makeup, are incapable of pointing inward. In addition, liberals treat history and tradition like annoying, vile weeds to be pulled from the ground and flipped into the trash bin.
Rules, unselfishness, mistakes, and the truth are all similarly annoying thorns in the Left’s side which more often than not get in the way of their agenda, mission, crusade, and fanciful march toward the kind of society they envision while admiring images of Marx or Bill Clinton. Lastly, Liberals often believe in the motto that if someone is not on their side, that someone must be an idiot, hick, religious fanatic, intolerant moron, or any combination of the above. Any valid voice or reasoned disagreement is often drowned by the constant drone of patronizing mockery or smug accusation.
Liberals pretend to respect and value their pawns but, more often than not, they use and perceive those pawns as mere ends to a means, tools for a task, marketing dummies for a store front, or collateral damage to a greater cause which just happens to be their cause of the week. African-Americans, Latinos, women, pets, trees, children, the physically challenged, the poor, natural disaster survivors, war civilians, and those who enter this country illegally have all been and will continue to be used by liberals as their pet pawns of the week or month to further their own selfish agenda. Like logs to a fire, these pieces are only valued for how they can be used to further the larger liberal plan, typically with no concern for their own individual welfare.
Liberals play a different form of chess in our society. It is based on bullying, mocking, patronizing, manipulating, and demonizing others and pretending, excusing, and ignoring away reality and the truth. Rules are either twisted, bent, ignored, or created to serve the greater agenda, and those who break the rules are glorified, coddled, and served. Welcome to the Left’s version of chess, where rules are decorations, people are pieces to manipulate, and the only things that apparently matter are personal comfort, finding shortcuts, and playing the victim. For the sake of our children and our country, we need to take the chess board away from these toddlers before they checkmate our future.
Dependence Day has arrived in Britain and is heading for America
On the erosion of personal liberty in both America and Britain -- and Britain's abandonment of its behavioral heritage. Just a few excerpts below from an article by Mark Steyn that is well worth reading in full
If I am pessimistic about the future of liberty, it is because I am pessimistic about the strength of the English-speaking nations, which have, in profound ways, surrendered to forces at odds with their inheritance. “Declinism” is in the air, but some of us apocalyptic types are way beyond that. The United States is facing nothing so amiable and genteel as Continental-style “decline,” but something more like sliding off a cliff.
Insofar as the world functions at all, it’s due to the Britannic inheritance. Three-sevenths of the G7 economies are nations of British descent. Two-fifths of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are—and, by the way, it should be three-fifths: The rap against the Security Council is that it’s the Second World War victory parade preserved in aspic, but, if it were, Canada would have a greater claim to be there than either France or China. The reason Canada isn’t is because a third Anglosphere nation and a second realm of King George VI would have made too obvious a truth usually left unstated—that the Anglosphere was the all but lone defender of civilization and of liberty. In broader geopolitical terms, the key regional powers in almost every corner of the globe are British-derived—from Australia to South Africa to India—and, even among the lesser players, as a general rule you’re better off for having been exposed to British rule than not: Why is Haiti Haiti and Barbados Barbados?
And of course the pre-eminent power of the age derives its political character from eighteenth-century British subjects who took English ideas a little further than the mother country was willing to go.
Continental Europe has given us plenty of nice paintings and agreeable symphonies, French wine and Italian actresses and whatnot, but, for all our fetishization of multiculturalism, you can’t help noticing that when it comes to the notion of a political West—one with a sustained commitment to liberty and democracy—the historical record looks a lot more unicultural and, indeed (given that most of these liberal democracies other than America share the same head of state), uniregal. The entire political class of Portugal, Spain, and Greece spent their childhoods living under dictatorships. So did Jacques Chirac and Angela Merkel. We forget how rare on this earth is peaceful constitutional evolution, and rarer still outside the Anglosphere....
One of my favorite lines from the Declaration of Independence never made it into the final text. They were Thomas Jefferson’s parting words to his fellow British subjects across the ocean: “We might have been a free and great people together.” But in the end, when it mattered, they were a free and great people together. Britain was eclipsed by its transatlantic offspring, by a nation with the same language, the same legal inheritance, and the same commitment to liberty.
It’s not likely to go that way next time round. And “next time round” is already under way. We are coming to the end of a two-century Anglosphere dominance, and of a world whose order and prosperity many people think of as part of a broad, general trend but which, in fact, derive from a very particular cultural inheritance and may well not survive it.
When a society loses its memory, it descends inevitably into dementia. As I always try to tell my American neighbors, national decline is at least partly psychological—and therefore what matters is accepting the psychology of decline. Thus, Hayek’s greatest insight in The Road to Serfdom, which he wrote with an immigrant’s eye on the Britain of 1944:
There is one aspect of the change in moral values brought about by the advance of collectivism which at the present time provides special food for thought. It is that the virtues which are held less and less in esteem and which consequently become rarer are precisely those on which the British people justly prided themselves and in which they were generally agreed to excel.
The virtues possessed by Anglo-Saxons in a higher degree than most other people, excepting only a few of the smaller nations, like the Swiss and the Dutch, were independence and self-reliance, individual initiative and local responsibility, the successful reliance on voluntary activity, noninterference with one’s neighbor and tolerance of the different and queer, respect for custom and tradition, and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.
Within little more than half a century, almost every item on the list had been abandoned, from “independence and self-reliance” (some 40 percent of Britons receive state handouts) to “a healthy suspicion of power and authority”—the reflex response now to almost any passing inconvenience is to demand the government “do something.” American exceptionalism would have to be awfully exceptional to suffer a similar expansion of government without a similar descent, in enough of the citizenry, into chronic dependency.
Why be surprised that legions of British Muslims sign up for the Taliban? These are young men who went to school in Luton and West Bromwich and learned nothing of their country of nominal citizenship other than that it’s responsible for racism, imperialism, colonialism, and all the other bad -isms of the world. If that’s all you knew of Britain, why would you feel any allegiance to Queen and country? And what if you don’t have Islam to turn to? The transformation of the British people is, in its own malign way, a remarkable achievement. Raised in schools that teach them nothing, they nevertheless pick up the gist of the matter, which is that their society is a racket founded on various historical injustices. The virtues Hayek admired? Ha! Strictly for suckers.
Permanence is the illusion of every age. But you cannot wage a sustained ideological assault on your own civilization without profound consequence. Without serious course correction, we will see the end of the Anglo-American era, and the eclipse of the powers that built the modern world. Even as America’s spendaholic government outspends not only America’s ability to pay for itself but, by some measures, the world’s; even as it follows Britain into the dank pit of transgenerational dependency, a failed education system, and unsustainable entitlements; even as it makes less and less and mortgages its future to its rivals for cheap Chinese trinkets, most Americans assume that simply because they’re American they will be insulated from the consequences.
There, too, are lessons from the old country. Cecil Rhodes distilled the assumptions of generations when he said that to be born a British subject was to win first prize in the lottery of life. On the eve of the Great War, in his play Heartbreak House, Bernard Shaw turned the thought around to taunt a British ruling class too smug and self-absorbed to see what was coming. “Do you think,” he wrote, “the laws of God will be suspended in favor of England because you were born in it?”
In our time, to be born a citizen of the United States is to win first prize in the lottery of life, and, as Britons did, too many Americans assume it will always be so. Do you think the laws of God will be suspended in favor of America because you were born in it? Great convulsions lie ahead, and at the end of it we may be in a post-Anglosphere world.
America needs a new national debate on the Constitution
It might seem unlikely that a lone law professor could spark a national discussion about the kind of government Americans want in the 21st century, but that's exactly what Georgetown Law School's Randy E. Barnett hopes to do with his modest proposal known as the Repeal Amendment. You can read Barnett's description of the plan and his response to critics of it like the New York Times here.
Under the plan, measures approved by Washington could be repealed if both houses in two-thirds of the state legislatures vote to do so. Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is among the proposal's most significant supporters, which means it will receive serious attention during the 112th Congress convening this week. Whatever one's view of the propriety of amending the U.S. Constitution in the manner proposed by Barnett -- and for the record, we think the Repeal Amendment is a dandy way to restore the proper balance to our federal system -- the professor's idea could not be more appropriately timed.
For the last decade, presidents and Congresses representing both major political parties have caused federal spending, regulation, and debt to explode as never before, with a result that the central government is in truly dire financial shape even as its power to control the most minute details of American daily life has never been greater. This fact is central to understanding why the vast majority of Americans -- 64 percent, according to Rasmussen Reports' Dec. 29 survey -- think the country is headed in the wrong direction.
For the same reason we regard the Repeal Amendment as a positive development in the current public policy dialogue, we think incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner has been unjustly criticized in some, mostly liberal, precincts for his decision to open the 112th Congress with a public reading of the Constitution. Aside from the sad fact that the reading will likely be the closest encounter many lawmakers have ever had with the actual words of the document, the occasion will be a happy one because it will also provide citizens across the country with an opportunity to join Congress in examining and discussing the words of our founding document.
Comparing the words of the Constitution to the actions of our leaders in recent years will surely make clear the enduring wisdom of James Madison's warning that "there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." Talking seriously about this condition is the first step to remedying it, just as Madison and the rest of the Founders intended.
Obama signs legislation to bureaucratize food production even further: "President Obama signed into law Tuesday legislation that represents the first major overhaul of the nation's food-safety infrastructure since 1938, but the presumed incoming Republican chairman of the agriculture subcommittee says he may not fund it."
Progressivism is not progressive: "The euphemistic usage of 'progressive' is merely one contemporary example of governmental manipulation of language. Notice also how often members of the authoritarian elite, especially of the leftist persuasion, cloak justifications for the warfare state in the language of peace, and for the welfare state in the language of freedom."
Old Dems and Whippersnapper Republicans: "Curious fact, unearthed by Gerald Seib of The Wall Street Journal. The average age of Republican House members in the new Congress convening this week is 54.9, younger than the Republicans' average age in the previous Congress, 56.5. But the average age of House Democrats has risen, from 58 to 60.2. That can be explained partly by the high turnover in the 2010 election. Many younger Democrats, first elected in 2006 or 2008, fell by the wayside. The old bulls from 65 percent-plus Democratic districts survived. Meanwhile, many young Republican challengers won."
Obamacare: An unacquired taste: "Throughout the debate over health-care reform, Democrats constantly told us (and themselves) that if only they could explain the bill better, Americans would come to understand how good it was for them. So President Obama went out and gave more than a hundred remarks, speeches, press conferences, and town-hall orations. But somehow voters resisted the president’s silver-tongued oratory. The more the president talked, cajoled, and explained, the greater public opposition to the bill grew."
The French find a free-market solution to historic preservation: "Turning Versailles into a hotel will have many positive consequences. More people will be able to enjoy the building than they do in the status quo, or if it were in ruins. Additionally, taxpayers won’t be forced to pay for the restoration, nor will the restoration compete with other government programs for funds. Another positive consequence is that the building and its history will be preserved."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)