Hurricane Alley… by J. D. Longstreet

A Very Different Generation … By Alan Caruba

A Very Different Generation

By Alan Caruba

 

They are called “Millennials” and, with the election of Barack Obama, have been dubbed “Generation O.” Born from 1980 to 2000, they are as different from their parents as previous generations were different from theirs.

 

It is common that older generations frequently look at the new one as creatures from another planet. Every new generation develops its own slang, has its own cultural heroes, and most importantly has been imprinted by the events of their early years as well as the kind of care they received from their parents. 

 

What distinguishes the Millennials is the way, not just events, but technology has transformed how they interact with each other and the world. Not only are they computer literate, but the Internet has allowed them to have friends from around the world who are available at the touch of a keystroke.

 

Events, of course, are important. My generation grew up during and after World War II. It was a time of enormous economic growth, of the U.S. ascendancy to being a superpower among nations. We lived through the Korean conflict that followed WWII in the 1950s, the birth of rock’n roll and, by the time the 1960s arrived, and I was beginning my 20s the Civil Rights movement erupted.

 

Assassinations marked that decade and the beginning of a long war in Vietnam that ended the lives of more than 50,000 young men born barely a generation after my own. Together we witnessed the first and only resignation of a President as the result of a criminal enterprise in the White House.

 

The Millennials had not yet been born. For them, the Soviet Union with its missiles pointed at American cities would be ancient history by the time they turned ten years of age. Red China would be a nation with which we did an enormous amount of trade. Europe would become the European Union. The Middle East would be a place that exported oil and terrorism

 

For the Millennials, the great trial their generation would face would be terrorism. For them and older generations, September 11, 2001 would change the entire dynamic of world affairs. The wars they know are the two invasions of Iraq; the latter of which has become their Vietnam. Two other events imprinted themselves, the bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City and the murders at Columbine High School.

 

While growing up, the Millennials led a busy, structured life in the 90s and this first decade of a new century. Their parents were devoted to them and the feeling was returned. They were told they were smart and to be inclusive and tolerant of all races, religions and sexual orientations. They were accustomed to being team players and they took being connected 24/7 for granted via cell phones and the Internet. This was a generation that was thoroughly nurtured.

 

It was and is a generation that was deep-fried in every environmental notion, no matter that its science was lacking or deliberately false. Surrounded by the benefits of technology, they have been told that much of it threatens the future of the planet.

 

In a nation where two percent of the population feeds the rest of us with plenty left over for export, they have no real connection with the Earth they worship, knowing nothing about how crops are grown or livestock is maintained and brought to the marketplace. Instead, they worry about “endangered” species and are fearful of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, all of which help generate an abundant food supply. Foolishly they worry that the poles are melting and the seas are rapidly rising, neither of which is happening.

 

As their parents came of age in the Reagan era of the 1980s, they grew up during the feckless years of the Clinton administration, questioning their parents about the sexual dalliance of the President while deluged with cultural messages that casual sex called “hooking up” was acceptable.

 

When George W. Bush became President, they would witness, not only 9/11, but the governmental debacle in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the torment of a strange “war against terror” being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan. At home, there was no terror, but few would or could make any connection between those active conflicts and the steady degrading of the threat al Qaeda represents.

 

It is, therefore, no surprise that the Millennials were entranced by the message of “change” offered by President-elect Obama, excited by the prospect of electing the first Afro-American President, and expecting, as my New Orleans friends like to say, to let the good times roll on.

 

There is, therefore, considerable irony that the Millennials are a generation looking at the same disintegrating economy their great-grandparents lived through in the 1930s and 40s, until a world war provided full employment and the post-war years were an explosion of innovation and growth.

 

It is presumed that the lessons of the past have been learned and monetary institutions will address the current problems, but underwriting the entire economy is public trust and confidence. If that disappears, so does the economy.

 

Slowly, the Millennials are discovering that the politicians their parents sent to Congress were so profligate, so stupid, and so intent on their own acquisition of wealth and power that they created the current financial crisis.

 

And now they are learning that those same people are returning to power! The President-elect is surrounding himself by the Clintonians who failed to comprehend the changing global dynamics, focusing instead on Green fairytales of “energy independence”, “global warming”, and the ill-founded belief that global institutions like the United Nations would or could solve international conflicts.

 

The Millennials, now in their twenties and thirties, are saddled with debt, watching jobs disappear, and so utterly devoid of any knowledge of their nation’s history that they know the names of the judges of American Idol, but cannot name the three branches of the American government, nor grasp that real enemies do exist and must be defeated if America is to endure. (The exception, of course, are those serving in our military.)

 

Their grandparents, the “Boomers”, are beginning to retire and will add to those who benefit from the many “entitlement” programs that have been enacted since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman and succeeding presidents. Their parent’s primary asset, their homes, are losing value. A university education now leaves them emerging into the workplace with debt.

 

The “change” that will be thrust upon them is a cornucopia of “sacrifices” they will be required to accept in the name of environmentalism and globalism. Sufficient energy will become scarce within a decade and a government that is rapidly socializing banks, investment and insurance firms, may be forced to let a major industry, the Detroit auto manufacturers, go bankrupt before it can be reformed.

 

Norman Thomas, a former U.S. Socialist Party candidate for President in the 1940s, predicted that, “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism’, they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

 

That day has arrived. Barack Obama is its standard-bearer.

 

Alan Caruba writes a daily blog at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. Every week, he posts a column on the website of The National Anxiety Center, www.anxietycenter.com.

 

© Alan Caruba, December 2008

 

 

 

 

 

Power Tends To Corrupt, And Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

For today’s commentary please visit:

STORM WARNING! at:

http://www.stormwarning.blogdrive.com/

Thanks!

JDL

Comments Off on Power Tends To Corrupt, And Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

Rethinking the Middle East … by Alan Caruba

Rethinking the Middle East

By Alan Caruba

 

After 9/11 much of my thinking reflected the general view that Al Qaeda had to be found and destroyed. I thought, too, that Saddam Hussein had to be removed as an obstacle to stability in the Middle East given his invasion of Kuwait and general belligerence.

 

Since those days I have had plenty of time to reassess my views of U.S. policies and to educate myself regarding the Middle East. A lot of my thinking had been based on the inescapable fact that the U.S. and the West needs access to Middle Eastern oil.

 

U.S. policy since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt has been support for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, providing protection of the sea lanes that transport oil and, in the case of Iraq, protecting the Saudi kingdom against attack. This was the reason for the original U.S. effort to remove Saddam’s Iraq from Kuwait and the subsequent invasion that was based on less than accurate intelligence reports of an Iraqi buildup of weapons of mass destruction.

 

For a long time, there has been a general consensus that a “clash of civilizations” between the West and Islam was inevitable, but it is more of a clash between civilization and nihilism. The global war on terror influenced U.S. actions as the rationale for the second invasion of Iraq was, in part, to introduce democracy to the Middle East.

 

There have been two factors that have complicated U.S. policy toward the Middle East. One was the establishment in 1948 of the state of Israel, a response to the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust that combined with the Zionist movement that began in the late 1800s as a response to the anti-Semitism of Europe and Russia. It received support from the newly-established United Nations, but nations in the Middle East reacted unanimously against the return of Jews to their former, ancient homeland. No surprise here; the Koran demonizes both Jews and Christians.

 

The other factor was the Islamic Revolution that erupted in Iran in 1979, a defeat of the American influence in that nation’s affairs linked in no small measure to its oil. The later defeat of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan led many in the Middle East to believe that Islam could defeat Western efforts to control the region. Western hegemony in the region had begun in earnest following World War I and the end of the Ottoman Empire.

 

The weapon of choice of the new Islamic Revolution was terror and, if invaded, a slow, grinding insurgency. This is why Iraq and future theatres of war will take a long time to play out.

 

What most policy makers in the U.S. and the West tend to ignore is the fact that the nations of the Middle East differed considerably in they way they are governed and, most importantly, in the near total lack of cohesion or cooperation among them.

 

In a recent commentary from the Middle East Forum, Michael Rubin noted that, “For more than a millennium, Damascus, Baghdad and Cairo have competed for leadership of the Arab world.” The establishment of Israel “became a useful template around which they could posture and against whom they could act as each sought to outdo its rivals in a claim to Arab leadership.”

 

Following World War II, a number of Middle East nations adopted the worst of Western concepts of governance, namely fascism and socialism. Baathism rose in Syria and Iraq, but only served to increase their rivalry. As Rubin points out, “Unity is not an Arab virtue,” adding that Baghdad, Cairo and Damascus “will never coexist as partners.”

 

This is not unique to the region because anyone paying any attention knows that all nations act in what they perceive as their own best interests. Some that share common historical and cultural views are more prone toward cooperation while others such as Russia measure their success against U.S. and European strength or weakness. In the Middle East, however, its culture prevents any useful, long term cooperation.

 

In an excellent analysis published in the November edition of Energy Tribune, Leon Hadar, a research fellow at the Cato Institute, demolishes many of the “intellectual constructs that reflect the imaginations of their promoters, not necessarily reality,” adding that “reality tends to bite.” The neocons of the outgoing Bush administration and the Republican Party learned this to their regret.

 

“The time has come,” wrote Hadar, “to challenge the grand idea that the Muslim world (or the Middle East, or the Arab world—terms that seem interchangeable in the American media) has a unique and monolithic political and economic culture that makes it resistant to the West’s modernizing effects.”  The analysis can be read in full at

http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm?aid=1009

 

If Middle Eastern Arabs decide to become “more like us”, it will be at a time of their own choosing. Iranians, being Persian, share Islam, but have their own agenda in the region, giving rise to Arab fears concerning their apparent intent to achieve hegemony there. If and when Iran gets nuclear weapons and starts throwing its weight around, a lot of Arabs are going to begin to think of America as their best friend in the whole world.

 

It should be obvious, too, that the deep schisms within Islam, Shiite and Sunni, will continue to divide the region between the majority Sunnis and what is widely perceived within Islam as a breakaway sect of Shiites who are a majority only in Iraq and Iran. Hadar correctly points out that the Middle East “is a mosaic of nation-states, ethnic groups, religious sects, and tribal groups, and a mishmash of political ideologies, economic systems, and cultural orientations.”

 

All of which suggests to me that the same policy of “containment” that worked for nearly forty-five years regarding the former Soviet communist regime would be a wiser approach to the Middle East than an endless number of military engagements that even our European allies are reluctant to pursue.

 

After World War II, the U.S. occupied the defeated nations of Germany and Japan for about seven years to ensure they would create their own democratic governments and economic systems. After that, the U.S. extended its military protection to them and everywhere else Soviet ambitions threatened.

 

The result was a stalemate in Korea that yielded a successful South Korean state, and a defeat in Vietnam that continues to influence American policy. We still do not recognize communist Cuba, but we have entered into an economic co-dependence with Red China. Go figure?

 

Just as the declining price of oil and gas brought down a Soviet government dependent on these exports, the Russian Federation will face the same contingency. Meanwhile, a decline in the price of a barrel of oil and the price of natural gas may, if long term, require Middle Eastern nations to review their policies as well.

 

The best thing America can do right now is to open up its own vast reserves of oil and natural gas that remain unexplored and untapped off of 85% of our continental shelf and to do the same in ANWR. We need to stop demonizing coal and we need to build more nuclear plants.

 

These actions would put the U.S. back in a position to improve our economy and protect us against pressures from the Middle East, Russia, and elsewhere. I have serious doubts the Obama administration will do this.

 

Things change. U.S. policies will change. Not every policy, but gradually events, some of which we have set in motion in Iraq as part of the global war on terror, will bring about change if we are smart enough, strong enough, and patient enough to watch and wait.

 

Alan Caruba writes a daily blog at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. Every week, he posts a column on the website of The National Anxiety Center, www.anxietycenter.com.

 

© Alan Caruba, December 2008

 

Comments Off on Rethinking the Middle East … by Alan Caruba

Rid The Sea Lanes Of Piracy.

Rid The Sea Lanes Of Piracy.

 

I reside just minutes from the Atlantic Ocean and the coast of North Carolina and those barrier Islands along our coast which made for wonderful hiding places for the pirates of yesteryear.  The Coast of North Carolina is drenched in folklore about pirates.  The infamous Blackbeard was captured here and decapitated. The sports teams of at least one noted university here are named “The Pirates.”  So, we Tar Heels have a colorful history of interaction with pirates as does our sister state to the south. .

 

That was then.  This is now.

 

Again the high seas are infested with pirates.  Their aim is the same… to rob and steal. But now, they have added ransom. 

 

Recently we heard of an Ocean Liner being attacked, but managing to speed away.  A few days later, in the same waters, a freighter was attacked.  It, too, managed to get away.  As I write, at least one of the largest vessels afloat, an oil tanker, is being held for ransom by a handful of modern day blackhearts in full view of the world, and the world’s navies, including warships of the US Navy.

 

Our own Caribbean is littered with modern day pirates.  Yachts disappear to show up at some other location, with a different registration, and different name. Sometimes passengers disappear, too.

 

On at least two different occasions in our history, under two Presidents, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt, the US Navy, and Marines, had to rid the coast of Africa of pirates.  The Barbary Coast Pirates.

 

I bring up these particular pirates because they were based along the African coast, mainly the North African coast.  The pirates we seem to be having the most trouble with today are also on the African coast, but the east African coast…the coast of Somalia to be more exact.  So far this year, alone, those pirates have attacked over 90 ships.  They have managed to hijack 39 freighters, tankers, and fishing vessels. At least 14 of them are currently anchored, under heavy guard, off pirate villages along the coast of Somalia.  Estimates run as high as 30 million dollars paid in ransom money. 

 

Turns out it is not as easy today as it used to be to take on the pirates.  All sorts of national and international laws tie the hands of governments and makes them less than eager to take on a couple of dozen men with small arms and two or three rubber boats. But there is an outfit, based here in North Carolina, eager to do what the governments of the world sea powers are reluctant to do.  I speak, of course, of Blackwater Worldwide.

 

Equipped with their own warship, the McArthur, Blackwater is looking to provide a new service to the merchant navies of the world.  Blackwater offers to escort paying customer’s ships through the pirate infested waters, safely.  Their plan is simple:  Issue verbal warnings to approaching vessels which appear to have piracy in mind, followed by a few shots in the air, and if that fails… then the sharpshooters aboard a couple of helicopters, flown from the deck of the McArthur, will do their job by taking out as many barefooted pirates as it takes to discourage the attack.

 

Already Blackwater is receiving inquiries from dozens of shipping companies and shipping insurance companies concerning Backwater’s services in escorting their ships through the world’s most dangerous waters. 

 

There is an excellent article on all of this at:

 

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,592433,00.html 

 

The country of Somalia still has no functioning government and it is a breeding ground for this type of activity.

 

Teddy Roosevelt, the last President of the United States to deal with Barbary Pirates, had the opportunity to use the big stick he carried and, he did just that.  He sent seven battleships from the Atlantic Fleet to the North African Coast. It worked and the pirates backed down.

 

This blight on the oceans will not go away if we turn a blind eye.  It will get worse.  Eventually they will manage to stop and board a passenger liner and death and destruction will be the result.  Or, terrorists will seize an oil tanker, sail her into the harbor of one of the world’s great cities, and blow it up with unbelievable death and devastation as the result.

 

Now is the time to hunt them down and destroy them… even if that means following them to their center of operations in the seacoast villages of the country, or countries, providing them safe haven.

 

J. D. Longstreet

 

Comments Off on Rid The Sea Lanes Of Piracy.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

thanksgiving-header-2007Happy Thanksgiving all!

 

Longstreet, and the lovely and gracious Mrs. Longstreet, are off to be with family today and enjoy the annual Thanksgiving Feast with the Grands!

 

Please remember your blessings today and take the time to offer thanks to God, the source of all those blessings.

***************************************

We Gather Together

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens his will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to his name: He forgets not his own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side, All glory be thine!

We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
And pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
Amen

–Traditional Thanksgiving Hymn
(A translation by Theodore Baker: 1851-1934)

We leave you with this note from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

We’ll be back in the trenches tomorrow!

 

Happy Thanksgiving all!

 

Longstreet

 

 

 

Comments Off on Happy Thanksgiving all!

November 22, 1963 … by Alan Caruba

Posted in America, Conservative, Culture, Death, Education, Election, Freedom, Heritage, Historical truth, Leadership, Liberal, Obama, Political by J. D. Longstreet on November 22, 2008

November 22, 1963

By Alan Caruba

I doubt that most Americans will recall that, forty-five years ago, on November 22, 1963, the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

Clearly, part of the reason is that a lot of Americans have been born since then, but the other part of the reason is that, according to a newly released study, most Americans simply have not been successfully taught American history or civics since the 1960s. They have no real knowledge, facts, dates, events, to call upon.

That is no accident. There has been a deliberate effort to “dumb down” Americans to a point where they literally do not know how their government came to be and what its guiding principles, embodied in the U.S. Constitution, permits, proscribes, and limits.

Assassination is the ultimate act of treason. It renders the entire electoral process null and void despite the rule of succession that elevates the vice president to the position of chief executive. Only once in our history, the accession of Theodore Roosevelt to the presidency, has an assassination produced a President of truly great stature.

I recall hearing the news of JFK’s assassination. I was working in Miami at the time, a callow youth of 26, well educated, but lacking any real insight to the event. Two other things happened that day. Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the new President and I quit my job and returned home. Shortly after, I became a journalist.

What would follow in fairly short order would be the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy while campaigning in Los Angeles against a first full term for Johnson and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At that point, the nation was engulfed in the turmoil of the Civil Rights movement and, with the election of Johnson, would find itself mired in the Vietnam War. The streets of Washington, D.C. would fill, time and again, with Americans protesting that war.

Johnson would decide not to run for a second term. The nation would elect Richard M. Nixon twice, only to see him disgrace the office with the Watergate scandal and become the first President to resign.

In a very real way, all of these events began on November 22, 1963.

I was struck by the adulation, the exuberance of the huge crowds that turned out during President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign. It reminded me a great deal of the same response the then-youngest President, John F. Kennedy, engendered. Rumors would circulate after his election that the Chicago machine, led by then-Mayor Richard J. Daley, had stuffed the ballot boxes to ensure his victory.

The reason it is essential to know something of the history of the nation is the ability to draw lessons from it. As popular as JFK was, he quickly blundered into the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, having won office in 1960. This was redeemed only by the standoff with the Soviets that forced them to withdraw their missiles from Cuba in 1962. A year later, JFK was dead; the victim of what some have said was an extraordinary feat of marksmanship attributed to Lee Harvey Oswald, a leftist malcontent.

The election of Barack Obama has been hailed as historic and, as the first Afro-American President, it surely qualifies, but history has a relentless repetition to it.

I am not suggesting the President Obama will fall to an assassin’s bullet, but I am suggesting that whoever holds the office of President will determine whether America continues to lead the world economically, militarily, culturally, and—yes—physically. If 9/11 was just a taste of what the Islamofascists have in mind for us, we are surely as threatened today as ever in history. Taking a longer view, we need to be mindful of the military buildup in China.

That is why it is essential to pay attention to Obama’s expressed views on homeland security and defense issues. President Ronald Reagan said that there was no evidence in all of human history that a nation was attacked because it was too strong. Even the ancient Romans knew that truth. “Si vis pacem, para bellum.” If you want peace, plan for war.

That’s why, as we commemorate the loss of John F. Kennedy to an assassin’s bullet, we need also to ask why an Arizona Governor, Janet Napolitano, is being considered for Director of Homeland Security. If she could not or would not defend the border of her State with Mexico against illegal aliens and drug smugglers, why should we expect her to do this and more for the entire nation?

President-elect Obama is already on record saying, “I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear systems.” It can be argued that nuclear weapons have deterred a fourth world war and conflicts between nations that possess them.

Leaving America defenseless or at least greatly weakened in a dangerous world is a suicidal policy.

It is said that Obama sees himself as some kind of national and international “transformative” figure. History will write the final chapter on that.

 

Alan Caruba writes a daily blog at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. Every week, he posts a column on the website of The National Anxiety Center, www.anxietycenter.com.

 

Comments Off on November 22, 1963 … by Alan Caruba

Religious Conservatives Should Leave The GOP!

Religious Conservatives Should Leave the GOP!

By J. D. Longstreet

If I have said it once, I have said it a dozen times!  The Republican Party no longer wants conservatives, especially RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES!  As if one needed proof, here comes an article by Kathleen Parker to end the discussion. The article is titled: “ Heresy and Other Truths.”  In her article, Ms. Parker says:

 

 “As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.

 

Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.

 

I’m bathing in holy water as I type.

 

To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.

 

You can read the entire article at:

 

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_11024437

 

This underscores the on-going battle within the Republican Party these days.  Religious conservatives are flat-out at odds with the moderates and liberals in the party and they (The moderates and liberals) want us (The conservatives, including the religious conservatives) gone.  In fact, they seem to want GOD gone from the party.

 

I am indebted to Ms. Parker for “backing up” what I have been saying for many years now.  Conservatives need to get out of the GOP and found their own political party and be done with it. When I refer to CONSERVATIVES, I, of course, mean the religious conservatives because there are very few, if any, non-religious conservatives.  You must understand that, in my opinion, the term “religious conservatives” means ALL conservatives.

 

There has been worry in recent years that the union of social and religious conservatives and the Republican Party is beginning to fray.  I beg to differ.  As far as I am concerned, it isn’t fraying. It is threadbare!  It’s OVER!  It’s long since time for conservatives, social, AND religious, to move on.

 

Look, as a social, and religious, and fiscal, and political, and every other kind of conservative, I can tell you, with no hesitation, conservatives need their own party.  We are not wanted any longer, if we ever were, in the GOP.  It is getting embarrassing for me as a staunch conservative to maintain my allegiance to a party that so obviously wishes I would LEAVE! 

 

Turning the tables on the GOP would taste very good at this point.  They know they have a snowball’s chance of winning another election without conservative support.  If we leave the party they will be forced to come to us and beg for our support in any future elections.  That’s fine by me!

 

Yes, founding a third party is going to be tough.  Yes, we may never have a Conservative Party candidate on a national ticket.  But, conservatives would be able to swing elections and you had better believe our support would be sought. That alone would give us more input into future elections than we have now.  Much more.

 

I am a conservative first and a republican second.  I am a republican because there was no conservative party, as such, to turn to. Given a choice, I would have joined the Conservative Party and never been a Republican in the first place. There are hosts of southern voters who feel the same way. I suspect there is another host of voters across the other regions of the country that feel the same way.

 

In two years we have another extremely important election coming up. If conservatives want to see any gains for conservatism in the Congress we had better get ourselves organized and ready. We cannot do that by staying in the Republican Party.

 

J. D. Longstreet

 

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on Religious Conservatives Should Leave The GOP!

How America Has Changed … by Alan Caruba

How America Has Changed

By Alan Caruba

 

Many of those who helped elect Barack Obama as the next President represent a very different generation of Americans from earlier ones. They have passed through the politically correct indoctrination of government/union controlled schools and have little accurate knowledge of history, geography, or civics with which to make informed judgments. They are more the product of popular media and culture than any previous generation.

 

The struggle for civil rights dominated the 1960s. The Watergate scandal marked the 1970s and the nation experienced its first serious military defeat after a protracted war in Vietnam. The rise of the Islamic Revolution began in 1979 and continued through the 1980s and 1990s, until it led to the 9/11 attack in 2001. The nation has been engaged militarily in the Middle East ever since. Events alter perceptions.

 

Here are some of the ways that America has changed since the 1960s:

 

The nuclear family—mother, father and children—is no longer the most common household type. It was in 1960, but today the nuclear family ranks third among alternative types of households behind married couples without children at home (mostly older, empty-nesters) and people living alone (also among the growing demographic of older Americans.) Divorce and out-of-wedlock births have caused the number of single parents to increase dramatically. Abortion ends 24% of pregnancies these days.

 

Most children have working mothers. In America today, 69% of married mothers work. The result is that most pre-school children are in daycare programs being raised and cared for by people other than their parents.

 

Only 16% of Americans think that our nation’s schools are doing a good job. To put it another way, 84% think schools are failing in their mission to educate today’s children. There are ample statistics to demonstrate this. For example, only 39% of white students in fourth grade were reading at or above their grade level in 2005. Among black students, it was only 12%. Asian American students, however, scored at 40%. Educators tell me that today’s schools are virtual zoos requiring all manner of monitoring of disruptive students. Fear rules the halls of too many schools, both inner city and suburban.

 

The median household income peaked in 1999 after some forty years of rising incomes. Between 1967 and 2006 the median household income grow by 32%, after adjusting for inflation, to $48,201. The average American household makes $1,000 less than it did a few years ago. The earning power of men peaked in 1989. Between 1967 and 2006, the median earnings of women who worked full-time grew by 53%. Together, those incomes allowed families to buy houses, SUVs, and other top dollar items. Americans have been on a credit spree, however. The median debt of average American households is $55,300!

 

The Social Security Trust Fund will exhaust its surplus in 2041. Nine out of ten people aged 65 years or older receive a Social Security check each month. It accounts for 40% of their income.

 

In a recent issue of Budget & Tax News, published by The Heartland Institute, an article noted that “Federal regulations cost Americans almost as much as the income tax and more than 40 percent of all federal spending…Federal environmental, safety, health, and economic regulations cost more than $1 trillion a year in addition to the costs of official federal spending.” These costs are passed along to consumers.

 

Fully 63% of Americans believe in God and have no doubts about it, but 57% believe that it is not necessary to believe in God to be a moral person with good values.

 

According to the 2000 Census, America was home to 63 distinct racial groups, but it was the first census in which individuals could identify themselves as belonging to more than one such group, i.e., were multiracial. Whites constituted 211 million people. Blacks were 14% of the population and represented 25% of those living in poverty, but non-Hispanic whites represented 44%. Blacks constitute 41 million Americans and are outnumbered five to one by whites.

 

Despite the failure of some sub-prime mortgages, fully 68% of households own a home. The Great Depression caused such losses that the government created the Federal Housing Administration and a new system of financing, the 30-year, fixed rate mortgage. By 1950 home ownership rate had climbed to 55%. Allowing people to buy homes with no money down and a reasonable expectation of paying their monthly mortgage has proven to be a very bad idea.

 

If you were born in 1901 life expectancy was 47 years. By 2006, average life expectancy was 78! The leading cause of death in America is heart disease. More than two million Americans die of this cause every year.

 

Antonio Gramsci, a dedicated communist, wrote a book setting out a strategy for taking over strong Western democracies by infiltrating their churches and educational system, as well as a nation’s media. Communism could be imposed by turning churches into ideologically-driven political clubs. Educational systems had to be dumbed down and offer a politically correct curriculum. Mass media had to discredit traditional institutions such as marriage and commonly shared moral values.

 

If any of this looks like America today, consider yourself warned.

 

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, www.anxietycenter.com. He blogs daily at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com.

 

© Alan Caruba, November 2008

 

Comments Off on How America Has Changed … by Alan Caruba