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And . . . We're Out
Topic: Why Does It Matter?
Posted by Everyman - 10:34:17 EST

This modest blog site went live on February 17, 2005, ten years ago - 16,026 posts ago - and now no longer counting.

It began with a whimper; it ends, musingly if not amusingly, without a bang. It just ends.

It's been fun, addictive, and demanding.

Now there's more pressing business to which to attend, the computer software has proven to be resistant to correction and even basic maintenance, robbing me of the ability to pass on videos and, indeed, even images.

It's a ten-year publication which I've described elsewhere, accurately, as:

An Inadvertent Memoir

A Semi-Bookish, Over/Under Counter Culture, Reactive-Reflective, Pretty- Much-Accidental Chronicle of Our Times

Season Subtitle with Punctuation to Taste

Maybe I'll convert some or all of it to an online book one of these days.

Maybe not.

Until then . . .

Then.

Everyman bids you adieu.

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Remembering . . .
Topic: Just Thinking
Posted by Everyman - 12:29:08 EST

Twenty-three years ago today, my mom breathed her last breath and left the bounds of this earth, destination . . .

Eternity.

Elsewhere.

As I recall.

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And In The EU . . .
Topic: Just When You Thought It Could Not Get Worse
Posted by Everyman - 12:25:30 EST

Life goes on.

Or doesn't.

Not so long ago the peerless intellectuals of the West accepted the victory of the Cold War and the union of Europe with a kind of resentful churlishness; a legacy from the imbecile Ronald Reagan who came into a strategic fortune through sheer good luck. He did not deserve it. They even rewrote history to make it appear that the European project really won the peace.
But now they know the truth.

They won nothing and threw away everything.

The current generation of leaders has presided over an unraveling in Europe, Africa and the Middle that was almost unthinkable half a decade ago. The contrast between the vaulting promises of Obamaís Cairo Speech, Hillaryís Reset, the EUís eastward expansion and the reality of 2015 are almost too painful to contemplate. The turnabout is so extreme it would be funny if it werenít so tragic. But maybe itís the other way around. We have to see the funny side of it to keep from crying.

The omnipresent witness to our self-inflicted wounds is the cellphone. Hereís what itís like to be in the Peshawar mosque. You might have thought the attackers would have been content to use AK-47s on the worshippers. But no, they brought explosive charges as well. They probably would have used flame throwers if they could get them.

How like an angel is man.

A killer angel.

Whither all of this leads I do not know, and have no wish to speculate, not now, not here, bereft of images, reliant on words alone which, in officialdom, mean less than nothing.

And so I will not indulge in meaningless prediction as I perhaps, too often, have done over the course of the decade just passed.

I promise . . .

Too late to matter.

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From There . . .
Topic: Why Does It Matter?
Posted by Everyman - 11:46:53 EST

To here.

My penultimate post, computeritis permitting.

During the ratification debates advocates of the Constitution publicly listed examples of activities over which the federal government would have no authority. They did so to inform and reassure Ratifiers and members of the general public about the limited scope of federal power. Among the activities listed as within the exclusive sphere of the states were marriage, divorce, and other aspects of domestic relations; manufacturing (necessarily including labor relations); other business enterprises; agriculture and other land use; land titles and conveyancing; property outside of interstate trade; commerce wholly within state lines; state and local government; the regulation of most crimes and civil suits; social services; training the militia and appointing militia officers; religion; and education."

The U.S. Constitution would not have been ratified without these assurances by the Federalists about the actual meanings of many of the constitution's clauses . . . Nine of thirteen states ratified the Constitution on condition of those Federalist assurances.

Reassurances long forgotten.

What have we done, to ourselves, to our progeny?

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How It Is . . .
Topic: Just When You Thought It Could Not Get Worse
Posted by Everyman - 09:42:17 EST

Still wrestling with computer issues, so I'll settle for a snow day's worth of stealing the thoughts of another to share with you while waiting for a call-back from the local geek guy to discuss my software issues.

Mmmkay?

Jon Chait is a jerk who somehow manages to be both condescending and wounded in his piece on political correctness. He gets the basic nature of language policing wrong, and his solutions are wrong, and he's a centrist Democrat scold who is just as eager to shut people out of the debate as the people he criticizes. Thatís true.

Here are some things that are also true.

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 19 year old white woman -- smart, well-meaning, passionate -- literally run crying from a classroom because she was so ruthlessly brow-beaten for using the word "disabled." Not repeatedly. Not with malice. Not because of privilege. She used the word once and was excoriated for it. She never came back. I watched that happen.

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 20 year old black man, a track athlete who tried to fit organizing meetings around classes and his ridiculous practice schedule (for which he received a scholarship worth a quarter of tuition), be told not to return to those meetings because he said he thought there were such a thing as innate gender differences. He wasnít a homophobe, or transphobic, or a misogynist. It turns out that 20 year olds from rural South Carolina arenít born with an innate understanding of the intersectionality playbook. But those were the terms deployed against him, those and worse. So that was it; he was gone.

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 33 year old Hispanic man, an Iraq war veteran who had served three tours and had become an outspoken critic of our presence there, be lectured about patriarchy by an affluent 22 year old white liberal arts college student, because he had said that other vets have to "man up" and speak out about the war. Because apparently we have to pretend that we donít know how metaphorical language works or else weíre bad people. I watched his eyes glaze over as this woman with $300 shoes berated him. I saw that. Myself.

These things arenít hypothetical. This isn't some thought experiment. This is where I live, where I have lived. These and many, many more depressing stories of good people pushed out and marginalized in left-wing circles because they didn't use the proper set of social and class signals to satisfy the world of intersectional politics. So you'll forgive me when I roll my eyes at the army of media liberals, stuffed into their narrow enclaves, responding to Chait by insisting that there is no problem here and that anyone who says there is should be considered the enemy.

Lessons from the Core curriculum.

Take heed, and be, appropriately, afraid.

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Still Here
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 09:28:44 EST

But only in a manner of speaking, alas.

Still dealing with computer issues that, candidly, I thought would be quickly resolved.

Wrong.

Once we're clear of our blizzard, I'll call the Doc.

Until then, well . . .

Until then.

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Computeritis
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 20:36:35 EST

Or some such virus, keeping me from writing here, requiring a visit to the local computer doctor.

I would illustrate the problem, but I can't because that's a part of the problem.

Back . . .

Eventually.

Sigh.

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Big Dream?
Topic: Just When You Thought It Could Not Get Worse
Posted by Everyman - 20:34:36 EST

Utopian nightmare.

The Great Society.

lbj

A wet dream of Progressives that - again, and quite predictably - turned out to be not so great after all.

Gone bad for more than half a century now . . .

And still counting.

Suffice it to say, the United States arrived late to the 20th centuryís entitlement party, and the hesitance to embrace the welfare state lingered on well after the Depression. As recently as the early 1960s, the "footprint" left on Americaís GDP by the welfare state was not dramatically larger than it had been under Franklin Roosevelt ó or Herbert Hoover, for that matter.

In 1961, at the start of the Kennedy Administration, total government entitlement transfers to individual recipients accounted for a little less than 5% of GDP, as opposed to 2.5% of GDP in 1931 just before the New Deal.

In 1963 Ė the year of Kennedyís assassination Ė these entitlement transfers accounted for about 6% of total personal income in America, as against a bit less than 4% in 1936.

During the 1960s, however, Americaís traditional aversion to the welfare state and all its works largely collapsed. President Johnsonís "War on Poverty" and his "Great Society" pledge of the same year ushered in a new era for America, in which Washington finally commenced in earnest the construction of a massive welfare state. In the decades that followed, America not only markedly expanded provision for current or past workers who qualified for benefits under existing "social insurance" arrangements, it also inaugurated a panoply of nationwide programs for "income maintenance" (food stamps, housing subsidies, Supplemental Social Security Insurance, and the like) where eligibility turned not on work history but on officially designated "poverty" status.

The government also added health-care guarantees for retirees and the officially poor, with Medicare, Medicaid, and their accompaniments.

In other words, Americans could claim, and obtain, an increasing trove of economic benefits from the government simply by dint of being a citizen; they were now incontestably entitled under law to some measure of transferred public bounty, thanks to our new "entitlement state."

The expansion of the American welfare state remains very much a work in progress; the latest addition to that edifice is, of course, the Affordable Care Act.

Which, mirabile dictu, turns out to be not so affordable at all.

When will we ever learn?

Alas, no time soon.

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And Still . . .
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 11:35:03 EST

No plan.

arlo

Not really.

But then, as is said ruefully, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him you have a plan . . .

Right?

Right.

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