I intersperse quotes in this essay by H. L. Mencken that I believe to be quite applicable to our current situation. H.L. Mencken for most of you who won’t recognize his name was a famous editor for a newspaper in Baltimore from about 1900 to about 1940. Among many notable accomplishments he coined the term ‘bible belt’ while covering the Scopes monkey trial in Tennessee in the twenties. He also wrote the definitive history of the English language, still in print last I heard.
“The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the greatest liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.”
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
‘Consumers’ act as a mass of mindless sheep that can be sent in any direction whenever Chicken Little arrives spewing alarm. We see it now as they react as the TV tells them to as if there couldn’t be any other possibility. For some reason ‘consumers’ support whatever the TV, whose source, an already discredited government, tells them. You question why I say already discredited: some of the lies told by ‘our’ government are well documented and numerous, so why would you trust them now.
“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”
We’re ruled by criminals and incompetents from our local level up to and especially at, the national level. Two easy local examples are the high school and rec center that were opposed by the voters but still, somehow, managed to appear and those who opposed them got the bill. At the national level it’s so obvious even Ray Charles could see it. All we ‘vote’ for gets ignored and all we ‘vote’ against is imposed upon us. So you wonder why we don’t vote.
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
Voting has been shown to be corrupted and there are two clear examples: Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004. It makes no difference because no matter whom you vote for government still gets in, though you may be overcome by a need for optimism and any questioning of that would make you uncomfortable.
“Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule — and both commonly succeed, and are right.”
‘Our’ current adventure began with the Covid scare that appears to affect mostly older people with underlying health conditions, which I am. Masks don’t make much difference unless you wear particular types such as the m-95 variety. Viruses will penetrate anything less stringent, and apparently will also enter thru your eyes, so time to get paranoid, eh? If you have a beard no mask will work. We’re presented daily with a number said to be Covid cases, but from what I can gather, and the TV is never clear, they’re results for people without symptoms, who, paranoid from what the TV presents, run off to get tested, then discover a condition with no symptoms presenting. We’re not clearly told what that means.
Hospitals were/are empty after cutting services anticipating a flood of Covid that never came. I know of one individual who needed a joint replacement and is still waiting because of nervous cancelations. Why trade over 40 million unemployed, soon to be homeless with evictions, and all that implies, including their increased death rates, for the death rate of a big flu season? It doesn’t seem a trade that many would agree to.
“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
The shutdown wreaked havoc on the economic system that was already precarious due to years of spending money we didn’t, and won’t ever have. Our national debt now apparently is somewhere around twenty five or thirty trillion depending on which incomplete numbers you discover. Where did it go? One place to look is the five sided fun house on the Potomac with this easy example: the day before 911 Rumsfeld announced that the pentagon was missing 2.3 trillion dollars, and curiously enough the investigation and all evidence was in the part of the pentagon where Rumsfeld’s missile hit.
Then there are the additional trillions the banks were betting, derivatives, with IOU’S as the collateral, which are coming due as well. Over forty million unemployed and the numbers seem to be climbing. This won’t end well.
“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable…”
Several weeks of non-stop demonstrations centered on police misconduct and murder are certainly getting the attention of those in charge who are responding as you might expect. They’re throwing ‘solutions’ at us to see if anything will slow the onslaught but as Martin Luther King said: riots are the language of the unheard. For years we vote for one thing and get the same old corrupt crap.
Cops are adversarial seeing a divide in which you’re either police or ‘little people’. That divide is already troublesome for the innocent and is magnified by the bad cop. It’s a bad time to be an honest cop but it doesn’t seem possible for those honest cops to turn in the bad ones for reasons that were made clear in the movie “Serpico”. The bad cops make the honest ones seem to be the same as the bad cause since they wear the same uniform who knows the difference.
Should you be curious about why there are so many black people in the streets, watch the movie: Queen and Slim. It’s a clear example, repeated daily, of why that is the case.
“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”
We’re told it’s about racism but everyone has some variation of said stain, including all of those who are out in the streets now. It’s just a question of which way it manifests. I know one individual who apologizes to random blacks for his ancestors past, which is a form of racism. I know others who can’t imagine that racism exists to the level that it does.
Statistics and video evidence show that our police state is out of control. Some citizens are showing everyone how that feels. I suspect the George Floyd murder and other similar motivators are only the trigger for years of frustration with much ‘our’ government does, like telling us social security and Medicare will soon run out of money as ‘our’ government gives billions to Israel every year, or destroying small countries who refuse to do as ordered by the empire. That costs ‘consumers’ a trillion or more every year, plus interest to the bankers who loan us the cash. You might investigate who it all benefits because it ain’t us, otherwise that money would be spent actually making this country great.
We could have a government that takes care of the country and its citizens but instead we have an empire that’s destroying parts of the world, and this country, in its efforts to control everything. It’s entertaining to see ‘our’ politicians denounce China for how they deal with their problems in juxtaposition with how the empire does here. The country is in collapse due to years of corruption and criminal behavior by those in charge. The Mencken quotes cover some ways to consider that.
“The aim of public education is not to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. . . . Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim . . . is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States.”
I want nothing to do with a system that operates on the premise that my rights don’t exist simply because I’m outnumbered.