It’s 1981 in America Again

Watching the news and social media over the last week or so produced a strange, non-specific sense of deja vu in me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I saw some teeth gnashing and garment rending on Twitter about President Trump stabbing Big Bird in the heart with rusty scissors.

That’s when I realized I’d seen this movie before . . . back in 1981 in the opening months of Ronald Reagan’s first term.

Reagan ran on rebuilding our national defense and cutting the size and reach of the national government. He’d even promised to eliminate the recently created Department of Education—established by Jimmy Carter to help the teacher’s unions strengthen their grip on the nation’s education policy.

As History shows, Reagan proved unable to keep that or most of his other promises related to shrinking the ever-expanding super-state. In fact, with Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress throughout most of his two terms, the best Reagan could manage was to slow the rate of growth.

But that didn’t keep the liberal media and political opposition from depicting him as a heartless fiend who delighted in oppressing widows, orphans, the poor, and the homeless.

To hear the wailing and caterwauling, one would have been forgiven for believing Reagan was personally running from hospital to hospital unplugging preemie infant incubators and cackling hysterically, twirling a long black moustache, as he shoved widows out of the second story windows of their homes.

Those “Reagan budget cuts” became a one-size-fits-all phrase for attributing to Reagan every individual hardship or hard luck story anywhere in the world. Each evening’s newscast featured the most pitiful story the reporters could dig up.

Every item about a layoff, flu epidemic, tornado, and pothole became an opportunity for some man on the street to condemn “them damned Reagan budget cuts.”

Which brings us to this week, wherein I made the mistake of taking a peek at Twitter. In a few short minutes I found literally scores of things like this:

Now, Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan. My reservations about Mr. Trump are well documented in previous posts.  Nevertheless, 36 years later, this is a pure repeat of 1981.

Of course, this is a propaganda war, and facts don’t really matter. Even so, the facts about Sesame Street are:

  • Mr. Trump’s proposed budget—which has to be approved by the House and Senate—cuts funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • The NEA, on the whole, is an appalling boondoggle-y waste of taxpayer money.
  • Yes, the NEA used to help fund creation of new Sesame Street episodes. But that’s done by HBO now. PBS only runs old episodes of SS.
  • So NEA cuts will likely have no effect on production of Sesame Street. But even if they did, corporate America or the billionaire liberal funders of our weekly protests could easily fund it out of spare pocket change.
  • The licensing for Sesame Street characters is essentially a money printing machine.

Pause to consider the irony of the outpouring of liberal outrage here. The folks at Sesame Street allowed themselves to be acquired by a premium cable channel that the poorest Americans cannot see. But it’s Mr. Trump who is evil-personified for cutting the budget of the ridiculous NEA.

As I said, what we’re witnessing is a propaganda war against Mr. Trump’s efforts to restore some fiscal sanity and boundaries to national government spending; and restore our neglected defensive capabilities in an increasingly dangerous and volatile world.

Celebrities are doing their part. Here’s the spectacularly wealthy author Stephen King taunting the elderly people ands shut-ins who voted for Trump concerning (grossly misleading false) reports of cuts to the federal “Meals on Wheels” program:

 

This is despicable. Sadly, it would probably never occur to a Progressive like Mr. King that some patriotic older Americans might not vote based purely on what most benefits them personally. Or that some of the few surviving members of the “Greatest Generation”—who grew up during the Great Depression and weathered the rigors of World War II—might just care more about their nation’s future than their own comfort.

Or that they might understand what few liberals seem to grasp—that it’s better when local charity is funded at the local level, where there is more accountability and less opportunity for waste and graft.

Unfortunately, King’s mockery isn’t the worst of it. Here’s Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof, yesterday:

Dear God in heaven. If there is a more reprehensible form of political argumentation than the above, I don’t know what it is. There has been an ongoing human tragedy unfolding in Yemen for a couple of years now, but until yesterday, the only people who seemed to care were a handful of conservative groups.

It’s not wrong to care about tiny Udai above. On the contrary, it’s essential. What’s wrong is  choosing to care only when you can use him as prop to score points against your political “enemy.”

Several people I follow noted that within a few days of Mr. Trump’s election, we suddenly started seeing hand-wring-y news reports about America’s “homelessness crisis” after an eight-year disappearance. It astonishing how we had our homelessness problem solved for eight years but that it’s suddenly back with a vengeance.

Journalists have also just discovered that presidential vacations cost a lot of money, after eight years of utter obliviousness to that reality.

Again, all of this  represents a repeat of 1981 (Reagan’s election) and in some respects 2001 (George W.’s).  As I point out from time to time on this site . . . “We’ve seen this before.”

H   H   H   H   H

There is a complementary pair of assumptions underlying this hysterical resistance to cutting federal spending. One, that is pretty much an article of faith for most people today. It is:

  • If a thing is good, the national government must fund it, or even better, mandate it.
  • If a thing is bad, the national government should ban it.

At it’s heart, this brand of thinking is a form of idolatry. It assumes a powerful, centralized government can and should be:

  • the bestower of all blessings.
  • the judge of all vice,
  • the coercer of all virtue,
  • the insulator from all negative consequences from bad choices,
  • the picker of all winners and losers.

It’s messianic and utopian. The problem for the Christian is that we already know Who the Messiah is, and it ain’t Uncle Sam. Yet Government is a jealous god. (See this great essay for more on that.)

It’s 1981 again. But this time around I don’t have a full head of hair or a soon-to-be-obsolete collection of eight-track tapes.

Some Random Strung-Together Independence Day Thoughts

1861 Flag Sky

Captive people long to be free.

After several generations of freedom, free people start longing to be taken care of:

  • To be insulated from risk.
  • To be immune from the consequences of their own bad choices.
  • To have somone else look after their neighbor so they don’t have to.
  • To be generous with other peoples’ money instead of their own.

A people can never be both free and taken care of.

Free people gradually trade their freedom for false promises of security and comfort.

The impulse to craft a governmental solution to every human ill is a religious impulse. It’s messianic at the root.

Big government is a false messiah. It promises utopia, heaven on earth, but can never deliver on those promises.

Freedom means equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.

Real freedom means freedom to fail, pick yourself up, and start again.

 

Vocal Fry, UpTalking & Stuff You Should Know

{Welcome to Cranky Blog Theater, I’m your host Geezer McCrotchety.}

sysnSo . . .

“Stuff You Should Know,” hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, is consistently one of the most widely downloaded podcasts on iTunes. I dialed up an episode while working out at the gym recently—an October episode titled “Vocal Fry and Other Speech Trends.

I didn’t make it to the three-minute mark of the presentation before my eyes were rolling so hard they almost shot out of my head. I’ll explain why in a moment.

If you’re not familiar with the “vocal fry” trend, here’s a two minute introduction to the now ubiquitous affectation among younger women:

The “Other Speech Trends” mentioned in the title of the SYSK episode included something called “uptalking.” What is “uptalking” you ask? Read the previous sentence out loud and take note of how your inflection rises at the end of the sentence. When you’re an uptalker? You pretty much end every phrase? With a question-y inflection? Even when it’s not a question?

I’m hearing it everywhere these days. In fact, I work around enough younger people that I frequently hear it coming out of my own mouth. It’s infectious.

I’ve noticed several movies and sitcoms recently where they use excessive uptalking in a character as a device to quickly show the audience that this person is un-smart, shallow and a little ridiculous. It’s an effective device.

To be fair, uptalking can actually serve a function in communication. When a speaker ends with a questioning inflection a sentence that is structurally a statement, he or she is essentially saying, “Do you understand what I’m saying?” Or, “Do you follow?” But a little uptalking goes a long way.

Nevertheless, the video above is just one example of many pieces currently in print and in media where women attempt to warn other women that they are undermining their credibility and damaging their career/business prospects through these affections. For example, here’s this video from a woman coaching public speakers to avoid up talking,

And here’s militant feminist Naomi Wolf in The Guardian with a piece titled, “Young Women, Give Up the Vocal Fry and Reclaim Your Strong Female Voice.” I could provide a hundred more examples, but you get the point.

So, imagine my surprise when I encountered the following thesis from the co-hosts of “Stuff You Should Know.” It’s right there in the synopsis of the podcast episode:

You’ve heard lots of complaints about vocal fry, mostly from older white men. But it’s not exclusive to the Kardashians. Learn all about vocal fry, upspeak and other quirky speech trends in today’s episode.

That’s right. In the face of an Internet full of evidence to the contrary, Josh and Chuck are absolutely convinced it’s us “older white men” doing the bulk of the grumbling about vocal fry. This, of course, is demonstrably false. Wildly inaccurate. Embarrassingly wrong.

The criticism is coming almost exclusively from professional women valiantly trying to help younger women not sound like imbeciles.

But wait, there’s more.

Six-and-a-half minutes into the podcast, Josh and Chuck decided to double down and build something awesome on the imaginary foundation of their false premise.

They hypothesize  that the  reason we “older white men” hate hearing 20-somethings croak-talking and using “like” every  fourth word as a crutch is . . . wait for it . . .  we’re “afraid.” And super sexist, apparently. Here’s a snippet:

“So . . . I think those people [older white males]  are just . . . they’re feeling like they’re not relevant any longer. And no one wants to be a dinosaur.”

“Yes. Yes.”

“And so . . . ‘I don’t understand this language these young women are speaking . . .‘”

“Right.”

“Which is B.S. because a lot of young men and women speak that way.”

“Right.”

“It’s just called the way the younger generation speaks. And it’s not like you old man!”

“Right. So just go off to pasture and . . . chew some cud.”

/ /

“I don’t think anybody is trying make to the older, middle-aged, white man feel irrelevant . . . But I think you have nailed it on the head, though, like, like, I think it’s a form of contempt for being replaced by something new.

“Absolutely.”

(Heavy sigh.)

This, dear reader, is what had me sputtering and muttering in disbelief on the stair climber.

These two darlings of the NPR crowd asserted—earnestly—that guys like me are complaining about uptalking teens and vocal frying twenty-somethings (we’re not) solely because we resent the fact that they are (supposedly) taking over the world. (And by this I think they mean a handful of young women are selling a lot of records and cashing in on reality TV.)

That’s right. According to the SYSK guys, there’s a vast, pasty, geezer-y conspiracy to defend our shrinking patriarchal prerogatives by bewailing vocal fry.

Where to start?

Again, their entire tiresome, PC thesis is built upon a false premise—namely that it’s men doing most of the complaining about these faddish speech patterns. (They cite NPR’s Bob Garfield as their sole example of this. In fact, I suspect Bob Garfield is the sole data point for this assertion.)  But, as I’ve already pointed out, virtually all of the coaching and advising and warning against these vocal tics is coming from women.

(For example, see here, here, here, and here.)

For the noblest of reasons, professional women in the real world of jobs and paychecks (as opposed to the surreal world of reality television and the entertainment industry) are trying to help younger girls do better in this world.

Please note: This blog post isn’t an example of an “older white male” complaining about vocal fry in young ladies. No, this is an older white male complaining about the mindless identity politics and ignorance of two “younger white males” who, ironically, have a show called “Stuff You Should Know.”

Hand to God, I don’t care about vocal fry. Or uptalking. And Bob Garfield notwithstanding, I’ve never heard or read any fellow pale geezer who does.

Unless your last name is Holland and you call me “Daddy,” I sincerely don’t care how you talk or present yourself. Undermine your career prospects all you want, boys and girls. Get a neck tattoo while you’re at it. Me and my fellow dinosaurs are indifferent. Or tired. Maybe both. Where was I? Oh yeah . . .

Which brings me to the second flimsy  premise in Josh and Chuck’s searing indictment of imaginary old guy vocal fry bashers. It is their assertion that young, twenty-something females are such an emergent, runaway juggernaut of economic power that we patriarchs have been reduced to bleating in fear and rage about the way Katy Perry talks.

None of that is grounded in reality.

A Trifecta of Wrongness

The Stuff You Should Know guys misread this phenomenon in a third key way. They seem to believe this surge of interest in the silly way young folks are talking is the first instance of its kind in the history of Western Civilization.

The fact is, telling young people—male and female—that it will enhance their success prospects if they avoid talking like nincompoops is not new at all. Younger people have always tended to take on speech affectations that undermine their credibility. And individuals from the grown up world of paychecks and promotions have always pointed out that they would be well served to cut it the heck out.

Was it anti-male sexism thirty years ago when mothers suggested their sons should probably stop talking like these guys . . .

spicoli

Jeff Spicoli, of Ridgemont High. Gnarly.

BillandTed

Bill and Ted. Excellent dudes.

. . . if they hoped to ever get a decent paying job? Or were they actually saying this merely because they were afraid of our awesome emerging power in the popular culture and didn’t like “feeling like a dinosaur?”

The 1930s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s all featured their linguistic equivalents of uptalking and vocal fry-ing. There’s a great scene in the 1947 Cary Grant movie, The Bachelor and Bobby Soxer, in which Grant encounters and mimics some of the ridiculous ways young people were talking in the Post-war period:

No, Chuck and Josh, your psychoanalysis of us “older white males” of America needs some work. And all of the above is some stuff you should know.

A Human Tsunami of Islamic Culture

In this photo provided by UNHCR officials and taken on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. Syrian refugees cross the border toward Iraq at Peshkhabour border point at Dahuk, 260 miles (430 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has set up an emergency transit camp in Irbil, where around 2,000 refugees are camping out and UNHCR officials say some thousands of refugees have been streaming into northern Iraq, many coming across a newly-constructed pontoon bridge over the Tigris River at Peshkhabour. (AP Photo/HO)

AP Photo

Note: I was in the middle of drafting this—a follow up to an earlier post about the Middle Eastern refugee crisis—when the Paris attacks unfolded.

As I impolitely pointed out in my previous post, any nation’s willingness to accept small numbers of asylum seekers or shrug at illegal immigration will invariably be rewarded with the opportunity to welcome many, many more. MANY. MORE.

sweden_small_map

Sweden: A country so cold, many of its inhabitants moved to Minnesota in the 1800s for better weather.

A few facts for your consideration.

As I write, more than 160,000 asylum seekers—the overwhelming majority of them single Muslim men under 30—have arrived in Sweden so far this year. That’s more than 1.6% of Sweden’s population. For perspective, that would be like a wave of 5.1 million Middle Eastern immigrants arriving on U.S. shores.

For Sweden, this new Islamic wave lands on top of the more than 500,000 Muslims who have immigrated to Sweden over the last few decades. They are drawn by the stability of the culture; Sweden’s liberal approach to immigration; the live-and-let-live nature of the Swedish people; and most of all, the generous suite of social welfare benefits.

Sweden’s Muslim “No-Go Zones”

Sweden’s idealistic open borders experiment has come with a terrible price tag for it’s citizens. Economic realities have forced the nation to drastically scale back it’s socialism. And in major cities such as Malmo, large portions have become Islamic strongholds in which non-Muslims, particularly Jews, dare not set foot.

As a recent piece about Sweden in Investors Business Daily pointed out:

There are Muslim enclaves where postal, fire and other essential services — even police officers themselves —require police protection. A police report released last month identifies 55 of these “no-go zones” in Sweden . . . They formed as large Muslim populations emigrating to politically correct and tolerant European states refuse to assimilate and set up virtual states within a state where the authorities fear to tread.

Rape Culture

Like night follows day, an explosion of rape crime follows the Islamification of cities like Malmo.

In the decades since Sweden collectively decided that inviting hundreds of thousands of poor Muslims to call Sweden home violent crime has increased by 300% and rapes by 1,472%. Sweden is now second only to Lesotho in Southern Africa in the number of rapes per capita.

This is just Sweden. These same patterns are being replicated across the continent of Europe and the U.K..

Rotherham

“Horror” is an understatement.

Did you hear about the Rotherham, U.K. sex slavery scandal last year? It’s quite possible you didn’t, as it got pathetically little coverage in our media. (Didn’t fit the preferred narrative.)

Rotherham is one of the many heavily Islamified cities in the UK . Last year it was revealed that over a period of more than 16 years at least 1,400 young, non-muslim girls—some as young as 11—had been abducted, “broken,” and abused in the most unspeakable ways while local officials turned a blind eye.

Why? Fear of being labeled “racist.” The liberal disease of political correctness paralyzed those with the responsibility and power to stop the horror.

As a damning and heartbreaking recounting of the scandal in Human Events magazine noted:

What happened in the town of Rotherham, South Yorkshire is almost beyond belief.  It’s also the most absolute and horrifying failure of the same multiculturalist ideology that holds sway over much of U.S. government.  To put it bluntly, pedophile gangs went on a 16-year rampage that claimed over 1400 victims, and the government strenuously resisted noticing, because most of the perpetrators were Pakistani Muslims, and officials didn’t want to appear insensitive.

In some cases, parents who tried to rescue their children from abusers were themselves arrested. Police officers even dismissed the rape of children by saying that sex had been consensual.

I have been reminded of Rotherham’s negligent leaders recently as I’ve seen accusations and smears  thrown at those who have questioned the wisdom of granting asylum to the throngs now pouring out of the Middle East.

Point to facts like those I’ve touched on in these two blog posts and you tend to get called names. Paranoid. Xenophobic. Heartless. And most hurtful of all, “Un-Chrstian.”

If you care deeply about the poor and oppressed, as I do, that’s a troubling accusation.

It’s also wrongheaded. It’s just that I know that the only viable answer for the world’s poor is to have the gospel transform their home countries and cultures.

In the next and final post on this subject, I’ll lay out the important differences between the compassion-driven responsibilities of individual Christians toward the plight of the world’s war-threatened poor, and those of any government that strives to do the “right” thing.

The West’s Refugee Dilemma

 

In this moment of history, many of my fellow believers are arguing passionately that the nations of Europe (and the U.S., too) should continue accepting and settling every poor person who makes it to their shores. I’d like to explore that assertion but it will require a couple of long posts to do so. Stay with me. This is important stuff.

wwjd-bracelet

Do they make these in nation size?

A nation can choose to be a welfare state. A nation can choose to have open borders. But no nation can choose both. Not for long anyway. So observed famed economist Milton Friedman many years ago.

The validity of Friedman’s assertion is now being tested in Europe before our eyes. Friedman, math and common sense all argue:

As a nation, to provide a social welfare safety net of services for the poor AND welcome the poor of the world to your soil is tantamount to economic and cultural suicide.

As I write, refugees by the hundreds of thousands are pouring across Europe’s largely open borders and into the generous social welfare safety nets those liberal nations provide for their residents.

The British newspaper, The Independent, published the stunning data visualization below to illustrate the scale and scope of what has taken place over the last few months—and very importantly, where they’re coming from. Each moving dot represents 25 individuals.

If image doesn’t load, CLICK HERE.

One of the striking things about this map is WHERE these refugees are coming from. The narrative is the they’re all coming from Syria and Iraq where ISIS’ reign of hell is rampaging. That’s clearly no longer the case.

By October 20, the number of refugees passing through Greece had surpassed 500,000. This literal exodus indeed began as a result of the deteriorating security situation in Iraq and Syria, which in turn is a direct result of President Obama’s foolish, catasrophic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq (as I pointed out in this blog post). But once it became clear that Europe was going to accept refugees, the flood gates opened from all over that half of the world.

Each one of those moving marks represents 25, heartbreaking individual stories. Real people, with real needs, hurts, dreams and aspirations.

However, viewed as a whole, these immigration flows create a self-reinforcing, self-amplifying cycle. Welcoming refugees triggers more and increasing refugee movement. Accept a trickle and invite a flood.

This is precisely what we saw here in the U.S. between 2012 and 2014.. As soon as the Obama Administration made it clear that underage illegals immigrants would be allowed to stay here and helped to establish residency, a tsunami of children and youth began rushing toward the Rio Grande from Central America.

As this PBS report explains, prior to 2012 an average of 8,000 children were intercepted at the border each year. Then word got out that the White House had ordered immigration officials to stop enforcing the laws on the books, especially where minors were concerned.

Many within the American Church—from Unitarians to Southern Baptists—cheered this move as a more compassionate, more humane, more Christian policy.

However, news travels fast. And the law of unintended consequences is merciless.

Minor Migrants 2014

Soon poor mothers across Guatemala, Honduras, and elsewhere were sending their unaccompanied children north, asking them to run a gauntlet of vicious narco traficantes, human traffickers, pedophiles, abusers, jungles and deserts.

We know that in the first half of 2014, roughly 60,000 minors actually made it to U.S. soil. What we will never know is how many did not make it. How many died along the way? How many were pressed into child labor or into the service of the drug cartels?

Accept a trickle and invite a flood.

Here’s a hard truth. Those who, with the best of righteous intentions, advocate for governmental acceptance of the trickle must own their responsibility for the deaths caused by the flood.

Of course, American liberals never, ever take responsibility for the catastrophic unintended consequences of their poorly thought out do-gooding. But my fellow Christians and I should. But back now to Europe . . .

Today many of the same voices of faith are saying the governments of Europe must accept and care for every Middle Eastern and African immigrant that arrives on their shores. They are explicitly claiming that it is the “Christian” thing to do and that governments ought always do the Christian thing.

In other words, many people believe the governments of Europe should put on a giant WWJD bracelet. But is that true?

I believe it is both possible and necessary to distinguish between what an individual Christian should do and what the government of a nation-state should do. Not only is it possible—it’s vital.

I know this sounds heretical, but a government can’t be a good Christian. And I don’t believe it should try.

I’ll explain in my next post.

The Logic of “Equality”

participation-medal

To achieve equality of outcome among all people (as opposed to equal opportunity) the government must keep us from failing.

To keep us from failing requires preventing us from making bad choices.

To keep us from making bad choices requires eliminating choice.

This is the inescapable logic of egalitarianism and the reason why all socialist projects end in totalitarianism and oppression.

 

Our President is the King of Horrible Ideas

baby02

So embarrassing.

In his ongoing quest to make Jimmy Carter’s one catastrophic term seem like a four-year festival of victory, awesomeness and genius, the current occupant of the White House just continues to come through.

This week we read that the President thinks it would be a grand idea to make voting compulsory. Washington Post: President Obama endorses mandatory voting.

“Other countries have mandatory voting,” Mr. Obama said at a town hall-style event in Cleveland, Ohio, citing places like Australia. “It would be transformative if everybody voted — that would counteract money more than anything.”

The president continued, “The people who tend not to vote are young, they’re lower income, they’re skewed more heavily toward immigrant groups and minorities . . . There’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls.”

Perhaps. But there’s certainly a reason some folks desperately want them at the polls. One party/ideology benefits greatly when the easily bamboozled and bribed vote in larger numbers. One party/ideology thrives on convincing the gullible that they can have free stuff with other people’s money and that we’ll never, ever run out of other people’s money.

One party/ideology benefits when the mal-educated, the unassimilated and the uninformed show up at the polls. (In related news, we also learned this week that only 35% of adult Americans can name all three branches of government.)

For some time it has been an unquestioned article of faith among left-liberals that when more people vote, better government results.

anarchists

Pardon me. Could you kindly direct us to the nearest polling place?

“Faith” is the wrong word here because faith holds fast where there is merely no sensory evidence. Liberals hold their belief—that pure democracy will somehow produce good outcomes for “the common people”—in the face of mountains of contrary evidence.

The word for this is delusion.

There is a reason Mr. Obama cited only Australia in support of his argument. Actually his precise words were, “Australia and some other countries . . .” So, who are those “other countries?” Below is a map of all the nations of the world that have already embraced Mr. Obama’s grand idea of compulsory voting:

Compulsory_voting.svg

Ahhh, Latin America, bastion of stability and corruption-free government. And we see you over there North Korea!

Australia is the only one in this group that isn’t either an economic basket case, a liberal-fascist dictatorship or both. Funny how the President didn’t point to all the excellent government the citizenry is enjoying in Thailand or the Democratic Republic of Congo in his remarks.

Many other countries have tried mandatory voting in the past—usually during some fascist-dictator-y phase in their past—but have since abandoned it. They learned the hard way that idiots tend to vote for idiotic politicians.

Governor Ventura

A former Minnesota governor.

Senator Franken

A current Minnesota Senator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevertheless, this president’s banana republic-ification of America continues apace. And we have a whole new generation of potential voters who get their news from Jon Stewart.

Oh, and San Francisco wants to lower the voting age to 16 because . . . Democracy!

Paul Harvey–1952

Recently I was told how man outwits his nearest mental competitor, the monkey. He ties a small-neck bottle to a tree. Puts bait in the bottle. The monkey can reach in, but with the bait clutched in his grip he cannot get his fist out again.

And he will not let go. So he is stuck, trapped by his stubborn greed.

Every election year in the United States the politicians are catching a lot of monkeys.

We have been baited with promises, pseudo-prosperity and stage money. We have been lured into a trap.

In the past two decades in the United States . . . a beneficent government has sold us a substitute for freedom. It is called security.

Suddenly the gamble was taken out of job seeking. Taxes took all the excess profits–the bonus of business.

We were promised that the government would take care of us if we get ill or get old and that we will never earn less than 40 cents an hour no matter what. Thus we have lost the good sense and moral integrity that set man apart.

If the old pioneering fire has died out of us, if we will hang on to new deals, fair deals and raw deals at the sacrifice of our i-deals, then we deserve to be trapped by our own clutching fingers because we are animals, nothing more.

History, for six thousand years, is the record of free people made slaves trying to get the free lunch out of the bottle.

Remember These Things (1952)

Paul Harvey