Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands. Cults everywhere: Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from. It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?
Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death
I have never understood the animus from 'Southerners' who descry 'state power' in their critique of Lincoln. The US Civil War was not about 'state power' or to 'centralize government', 2 ideas that lead to ruin and bankruptcy. Eradicating the barbarism of slavery and creating a Continent sized state, with all the benefactions economically, politically and militarily that entails; was the reason the US civil war was a necessary war. Thankfully the industrial North prevailed and by so doing, ensured that civilization would survive 3 future World Wars.
In 1863 Lincoln established the Thanksgiving day holiday. It should be a day of giving thanks, not a rush to buy items you don't need. Lincoln was Christian, pious and his most often used book and the source of much of his writing and speech making was of course the Bible. He uttered this famous words in 1863 [link]:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.
“We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.”
How many today are 'thankful' for what they DO have. How wonderful is the myriad miracles of life, even in spite of our own infirmities, loss of faith, illness and experience of suffering, loss, hopelessness and death. Life itself proves that there must be an immanent Creator. Nothing does not give rise to complexity, organs, a consciousness and moral ideals and aspirations. Lincoln:
“Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.”
These words from 1863 echo more resoundingly today than they did back then. Modern society is intoxicated with itself. The world of 'me', various cults which defy reason and relevancy, Facebook, Reality-TV, infatuation with 'progress' and gadgets; spending and consumerism and the utter banality of pop culture. Who cares about gratitude or giving thanks?
Not many it appears. Lincoln sounds like a Psalmist when he concludes:
“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged.”
I can't imagine an American political leader today, stating anything even closely resembling the psalmist-prayer of Lincoln as given above.
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000
Let's remove 8 zeros and pretend the numbers reflect a household budget:
Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Total budget cuts: $385
Is the US Middle Class disappearing? If it is that bodes ill for the future of the Western nation state. If the Middle Class is dying in the US, it must be dead elsewhere. The greatest obstacle to National Socialism, Divine Right Rule, Paternalistic Despotism, or Enlightened Absolutism is of course a strong Middle Class of family-oriented people, who are 'centers of power' in opposition to the endless march of government. Take away this bulwark in a post-modern, post-Christian age and there is little left to oppose the might of the State. Inflation, debt and the destruction of oppositional centers to power usually presage the end of empire.
In times past the ability to own business and property, with a capability to defend their rights legally and physically, married with an extremely jaundiced view of 'government', defined the Middle Class. The only method to develop a cadre of 'middle income families' is through trade, free investment, freer markets in capital and labour, and the limitation of private property theft by a parasitic class of civil servants and politicians. Part of Europe's problem is that both labor and capital are rigid, and the middle class has long lost its aversion to ever-more government. In fact most middle income earners are socialist or Marxist.
Families need jobs and jobs are killed off by excess taxation and regulation. It is also a cultural mindset. Most voters want bigger government and less freedom. Too many people view working as arbitrary. They would much rather join the ranks of government workers and earn 2x more than they could in the private sector and 4x more when pensions and sick-day payoffs are added in. Or they believe that the 'system' or someone's 'stash' owes them welfare, health care, education, housing and pensions. Once the culture becomes communal collapse is a matter of time.
A good article about the disappearing American Middle Class is “30 Statistics That Show That The Middle Class Is Dying Right In Front Of Our Eyes As We Enter 2012” It is unlikely that the great swathe of people are 'disappearing' as the article suggests. But some of the 30 points listed are painful to read. Some highlights include:
#1 Today, only 55.3 percent of all Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 have jobs.
#11 Since 1971, consumer debt in the United States has increased by a whopping 1700%.
#18 Food prices continue to rise at a very brisk pace. The price of beef is up 9.8% over the past year, the price of eggs is up 10.2% over the past year and the price of potatoes is up 12% over the past year.
#25 Since Barack Obama took office, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 14.3 million.
#29 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.
Some caveats. Poverty for example. In my little mind government 'statistics' are rarely pure and full of transparent reason. Poverty figures suit many different stakeholders who access public funds, not to mention the expansion of agencies and bureaucracies. The definition of poverty keeps rising, not falling. Real poverty levels are probably no more than 5-10 % of the total population. People with iPhones, cars, fridges and running water are not 'poor'. But the point made is that many families are struggling. Between taxes and real inflation this is obvious.
Two other aspects from this list are also true. First, thanks to National Socialism and Corporatism, the elite and their politically connected businesses are getting richer each year and holding a higher share of national income. See #29. This corruption is widespread and profound. It significantly distorts the political-economy. Second, social spending has gone up 5 x faster than GDP growth in the past 50 years – a sure sign of income redistribution which in the end retards economic development. Poverty has climbed if you believe the published figures. When social spending is so astronomically high the distortions in income, job creation, wealth generation, mobility, and even innovation are negatively impacted. How can more people be in trouble today than 50 years ago if the nanny-state which is so omnipresent is the solution to society's ills ? The math does not add up.
Statism makes matters worse not better when huge tracts of society and the political-economy are national-socialized. Poverty will increase not decrease. Just as revenues will go down not up when taxes are raised. But such facts will be lost on those who want the complete socialization of everything and the infantilization of all people. By then the Middle Class will indeed be long dead, and there will be the elite run either by Marxist or Eco-fanatics or both; and the rest. The trend is rather clear on that point.
[Money chaser and 'beauty challenged' Bialek hunting down Cain].
Herman Cain is the wrong kind of Black. Accused by one identified woman and 2 unidentified for sexual harassment, seems suspiciously like a series of hits against a man who is too 'white' for his own good. The media, the [un]Democratic party and the multi-cult can't stand Cain. He is not a Marxist. He is self-made. He paid for his own Masters in Computer Science from Purdue – a degree that is both difficult and eminently worthwhile. He hates welfare. He is a worker. He is smart and folksy. Now apparently the main-stream media is trying to turn Cain into Herman-the-Ripper. A man who has Clinton's hands, a wolf's smile, and a lizard's tongue. It is all bunk.
The main accuser, one Sharon Bialek, appears to be a desperate woman seeking money and notoriety. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Bialek greeted the man who 'attacked' her when she asked him for a job 15 years ago like this:
They hugged each other backstage in a full embrace like old friends.
She grabbed his arm and whispered in his left ear.
She kept talking as he bent to listen, and he kept saying “Uh, huh. Uh, huh.”
“I don’t know if what she was giving him was a sucker punch, but he didn’t put his arm down while she was talking to him,” said the Sneed source.
The source in question is female radio host Amy Jacobson of WIND, who professes to be “shocked” that Bialek turned out to be the Fourth Cain Accuser:
“I recall Sharon was hell bent on going backstage at the TeaCon convention — where she cornered him,” said Jacobson.
Seems unlikely that an 'attack' took place 15 years ago. Most likely something did happen – consensually. Now she is trying to cash in by bringing in microphone and money chaser Gloria Allred to denude Cain of his wealth through a frivolous lawsuit.
Two main problems exist with this attack on Cain. First, the story from Bialek does not make a lot of sense especially when she is discovered hugging and flirting with him 1 month ago - dinner alone, then a car ride, and she remembers exactly what they discussed and what he wore – it is too contrived and too well-packaged. It appears more likely that she is either hired by someone to bring him down [kaching $], or she is looking for Allred to get her the Lewinsky treatment [book deals, interviews and more kaching $].
Second, the laws around sexual assault, sexual harassment, and sexual suggestiveness [whatever that means], are full of problems and issues for those accused. A man won't win such a case even if there is no evidence but simply 'her word' against his. So the smart thing to do is to pay them off to go away. The idea of justice does not exist in many of these cases. Every day in North America men are accused of sexual impropriety that they did not commit. The woman is usually able to accrue financial gain with minimal publicity. The legal system must address this incongruity and lack of justice.
Finally it is clear that Herman Cain is the wrong Black. He is not a socialist. Vast swathes of America including most Blacks apparently, want more government, more dependency, more welfare, more bankruptcy and to tie the Black voter to the [un]Democratic party. Yet in the real world it was the Republicans who fought and won the Civil War freeing the Black Man. It was a Republican government which then enfranchised Blacks and put them in power in the South post-bellum. It was the [un]Democratic party which set up the KKK targeting Blacks, Catholics [whites] and Jews [considered to be white], post bellum. It was largely due to the efforts and energies of 'conservatives' that America passed Brown vs. Education in 1954 which was crucial to grant Blacks equal rights and equal access to education. Under conservative ideals, Blacks would be better off, keep more of their income and be expected to succeed or fail on their on. It is hard to understand what is wrong with this.
But most Blacks don't know the above. They assume that Father Obama will save them and that 'his stash' is really 'their stash'. Together Blacks and the usual cadre of Marxists are now trying to destroy the 'wrong kind' of Black Man – namely Mr. Cain. He is too uppity – isn't that the word the real racists use ? Their attacks will fail. Cain may come out stronger from an obvious case of entrapment and smear.