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Independence Whip, July 1, 2010

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Walter Lippmann on Progressivism -- The uncomfortable truth that all too many people want to ignore--and some use Beck's histrionics as an excuse--is that on the actual, factual grounds of history, Glenn Beck is correct.

Progressivism, a variant of the 19th Century German social democracy and political philosophy that also spawned Marxism and European 20th-Century fascism, took root in the U.S. in the late 1800's, and with the elections of Theodore Roosevelt (R) and Woodrow Wilson (D) gained a dominant foothold in American political thinking. It simply metastasized with FDR's "New Deal" into a peculiarly American form of socialism, which is now wheezing a death rattle, even as the "progressives" seek to give it larger and larger transfusions of our money. It will collapse--sooner or later--and that collapse will be a new birth of freedom, or the beginning of a dark age from which the world will be a long time recovering.

So, the failure of "progressivism" sooner--at the hands of the regular, common Americans who lately have called themselves "Tea Partiers," "Patriots," and other politically incorrect names--would be better, for everyone concerned. Everyone that is except perhaps those special interests most wedded to the existing system--large mega-corporations, labor unions, and the "intelligentsia" of government bureaucrats, university professors and think tanks, and Big Media who always seem prone to big ideas that centralize power and make power easier to grab and wield. The "progressives" aren't offering "new" ideas at all. Their ideas are old. They're wrongheaded, they don't work as public policy, and they're dangerous and corrosive to human morality and the human spirit.

Throughout the world, in the name of progress, men who call themselves communists, socialists, fascists, nationalists, progressives, and even liberals, are unanimous in holding that government with its instruments of coercion must by commanding the people how they shall live, direct the course of civilization and fix the shape of things to come. They believe in what Mr. Stuart Chase accurately describes as “the overhead planning and control of economic activity.” This is the dogma which all the prevailing dogmas presuppose. This is the mold in which are cast the thought and action of the epoch. No other approach to the regulation of human affairs is seriously considered, or is even conceived as possible. The recently enfranchised masses and the leaders of thought who supply their ideas are almost completely under the spell of this dogma. Only a handful here and there, groups without influence, isolated and disregarded thinkers, continue to challenge it. For the premises of authoritarian collectivism have become the working beliefs, the self-evident assumptions, the unquestioned axioms, not only of all the revolutionary regimes, but of nearly every effort which lays claim to being enlightened, humane, and progressive.

--Walter Lippmann, former "progressive", after seeing clearly for the first time, in 1937, what Franklin Delano Roosevelt was doing. The words ring 100% true today. But there is another way--one that in a little over one hundred years turned a wilderness into the world's most productive, prosperous, and powerful country. One that, when noticed at all, is either given lip service by the progressives, when it's not being derisively laughed at and belittled. That's why Hayek's The Road to Serfdom is as relevant now as when it was written in 1944--He grew up in Germany, and writing the book from England, saw the exact same things happening in England--and in the United States.

"History doesn't repeat itself. But it does rhyme." - Mark Twain

Which reminds me of another thought I've had: If the concept of "linear time" is so backward and unsophisticated, why is it that a key tenet of "progressivism" is a steady, inexorable march towards better life and better men, and why do the many of the very same people who look down their noses at a perception of "linear time" simultaneously believe in it so fervently in political practice? Perhaps people with the "progressive" mindset are not quite as smart as they think they are. It wouldn't be the first time, would it? Downsizing Detroit by means of eminent domain -- Coming to a politically undesirable area near you, sooner than you think . . . so therefore you might want to think about not being politically undesirable in the New Progressive Order, ne?

Could Scott Brown Kill The Frank’n'Dodd Wall Street Reform? -- The Republicans should simply say "Pass a budget, and then we'll let other things be considered. Until you Democrats can successfully complete Item #1 in the Constitution's list of the Enumerated Powers of Congress--to whit, "pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States"-- then forget about taking on any other business in Washington.

Iran Claim: Israel Positioning Equipment In Saudia Arabia As Prelude To Attack -- See, the thing is, Israel can't afford to wait for the first punch--it's not big enough . . .

Obama: Global recovery requires level playing field -- This is pretty funny, which is strange, because I've never been particularly impressed with Obama's sense of humor, timing, or delivery before now . . .

Inside the Black Panther case: Anger, ignorance and lies -- Politics and race trump free and fair elections, according to the Obama Justice Department . . .

Revisiting the Pinatubo Eruption as a Test of Climate Sensitivity

How Unpopular is the Obama Administration?

Russia alarmed by CIA view of Iran's weapons -- Yeah. Right. Our good and dear friends, the Russians.

Hubris and Humility: David Weigel Comes Clean on Washington Post, the D.C. Bubble, & the ‘Journolist’

No Secret Place

Hamas says asked by US to keep silent on talks

Protecting the Second Amendment (But Just Barely)

Science Historian Cracks the 'Plato Code'

OPEC to Obama: Why are you halting offshore drilling?

OKAY, having quickly skimmed the McDonald opinion, a few thoughts.

Castigating Conservative Justices in the Kagan Hearing

Some Males React to Competition Like Bonobos, Others Like Chimpanzees -- Ook. "Is that a bonobo or are you just happy to see me?"

Study raises questions over wider use of statins

Big 12 coaches preparing for new format

Santelli goes nuclear: “Stop spending! Stop spending! Stop spending!” -- STOP SPENDING! STOP SPENDING! STOP SPENDING! STOP SPENDING! THAT'S WHAT WE WANT! STOP SPENDING!

Breitbart Explains the Journolist 'Cabal' -- ""The story is not Dave Weigel. The story is Journolist," conservative Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart said Monday in a brief telephone interview . . ." Exactly. This isn't about one guy who said stupid, sarcastic things via e-mail. It's about a secret group of reporters coordinating their stories and getting their "narrative" together, to present a slanted picture of the news to the public. For reporters who weren't part of "Journolist" this should be a huge story--every bit as big as the General McChrystal story, if not even bigger.

Who watches the watchers?

Krugman Prophesies Doom As a Result of Government Spending Cuts and Archaic Notions of Sound Fiscal Policy

Aw: Al Franken fights to stay awake during Kagan’s remarks -- Why is that buffoon even in Congress? Oh, yeah, because Democrat lawyers managed to steal another election.

North America's First Peoples More Genetically Diverse Than Thought, Mitochondrial Genome Analysis Reveals

Martinez Ruling a “Serious Setback for Freedom of Expression” -- Personally, I'm to the point where I'd rather see a Supreme Court ruling that it's unconstitutional to provide government funding to institutions of higher education. Then this wouldn't be an issue in the first place. Higher education, like health care, is an industry that's been sent completely out of control due to government intervention and interference.

In Kagan Hearing, Liberals Senators Downplay the Importance of Impartiality

G-20: Obama Keeps Talking, But The World Has Stopped Listening -- This will soon happen here in the USA, too (assuming it hasn't happened already--which it may very well have) . . .

Elena Kagan: “It’s Fine If the Law Bans Books” (Video) -- It really doesn't matter. Kagan could be on video saying she fancied sexually abusing puppies, and if her ideological compass was acceptable to Democrats, she would have the votes to get onto the Supreme Court. You know I'm right . . .

Supreme Court Sarbanes-Oxley Decision: You Can't Keep An Executive Branch Board Two Layers from the President -- This sort of thing is what you get when Congress passes laws they don't bother to read or understand--which they do with remarkable frequency nowadays . . .

Hmmm: McChrystal to retire