Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

Hate to be Dougie Downer on this day, but it came out that way.  I had a lot of stuff tumbling around in my mind about the holiday for the last few days.  I came across Kenny's Fourth of July post over on Knuckledraggin My Life Away, and a lot of it is in there.  I think it's a really good summary of the state of the US today.  Go read.  I'll wait for you.

Maybe this is why, when asked to rate their own freedom, Americans don't even rate the country in the top 25% of the most free nations.   We rate ourselves 36th in the world.
That 12-point drop pushes the United States from among the highest in the world in terms of perceived freedom to 36th place, outside the top quartile of the 120 countries sampled, trailing Paraguay, Rwanda, and the autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
I've got to tell you that while I have a decent knowledge of geography (thanks to ham radio) I hadn't even heard of Nagorno-KarabakhGallup says Americans are losing confidence in every branch of the Federal Government, with confidence in congress at 7%, the president at 29% and the Supreme Court at 30%.
My take on the graph is that while the general trend of confidence is downwards, presidents seem to be more cyclic, rising and falling with their public perceptions.
“Americans not only feel that the U.S. government is performing poorly, as demonstrated by record-low congressional approval ratings, but they also report that the U.S. government itself as one of the biggest problem facing the country today,” the report concludes.
Since 2006 perception of widespread corruption in the U.S. government has risen from 59 percent to 79 percent in 2013, a perception likely driven in part by the Edward Snowden NSA documents, the IRS, and Benghazi. 

Taken together, all of this screams of Angelo Codevilla's 2010 article on the Ruling Class vs. the Country Class, the article the gelled those two terms in the public consciousness (well, at least in mine) and the excellent Chicago Boyz commentary on it.
Our oligarchy is in its newborn infancy, but it is hungry for power, venal in its corruption, covetous of security, impatient of democratic accountability and intolerant of dissent. Beware of legislative moves, cloaked in high-sounding phrases, to regulate speech, circumscribe criticism of public officials, grant police powers to private corporations like BP, tax farm the many to benefit the few, and generally exclude the public from important policy decisions by making citizen participation in governmental process more complex, opaque, indirect, financially burdensome and personally risky.
 The ruling class: Separated at Birth?
(Harry Reid and a blobfish)

The polls show that the people are aware of this separation into a ruling class, a weaponized government willing to use every agency against the people who pay for it to exist.  The question is how we get our freedom back.  Reagan famously said, "Those who have known freedom, and then lost it, have never known it again."  On that question I don't have anything encouraging to say.  If you haven't read Day by Day's link to "15 Things You Probably Do Not Know About Psychopaths", you ought to.  It explains a good 80 to 90% of who you're dealing with. 

Sigh... but this is a holiday.  A good day for a barbecue or to grill something.  Go send some rounds downrange.  Practice Is Good.  The problems will still be here tomorrow.

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