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Dear (eventual) Stickies & Great-Grandstickies,
OK, let's see. Before I officially kicked off this series of columns about things I want to make sure I tell you in case I wake up dead I covered all of the Seven Virtues. Check.
In the last five columns, I've covered meaning, purpose, happiness, contentment, technical and cultural chaos, and soft nationalism. Check.
That leaves God and politics, well almost. Please bear with me while I clear the deck
Global warming is a never-ending RBFD, but I covered that here. As to economics, I've mentioned here, there, and over there that I'm a wild-eyed free marketeer. But last week, in Nationalism, I pointed out that I'm a fan of competitive capitalism (what we should have) and opposed to crony capitalism (what we often do have, frequently with the collusion of Congressional whores). Check.
If you've bothered to read through my old columns it should also be clear that I'm for an intelligently designed safety net. I've mentioned, but not in enough detail (at least not yet), that:
Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. The Gummit is spending the money faster than it comes in while simultaneously borrowing against their no limit credit card -- and you're going to get the bill. Check.
That, the welfare cliff is a dependency trap and a national disgrace. Check.
That, we need a cradle to grave social security system, like Singapore's, that maximizes the power of individuals, minimizes the power of career bureauons, and harnesses the power of free markets for everyone, not just the Cronies and their -- The Gummit -- enablers. Check.
That, Socialism is a seductive dead-end that has only ever worked in Scandinavia. It requires a vibrant private sector to generate the cash and a willingness of everyone to pay high taxes and submit to more rules and (legal and social) regulations than I suspect the average American would be willing to swallow.
That, there ain't enough rich people in the USA to fund the utopian dreams of Bernie and Fauxcahontas. Roughly 1.7 million evil rich people are currently picking up the lion's share (roughly 70%) of the tab for all 325,000,000 of us. (This includes the $22,000,000 the Pentagon gave to a billionaire buddy of Harry Reid to study UFOs.) Check.
And now, on with the show.
Unfortunately -- militant/aggressive atheists, a group that includes some stunningly brilliant people -- understandably, don't understand this.
They've been kicked in the crotch by life and/or are acutely aware of the fact most of us are nursing tender, damaged crotches. They've noticed that no shortage of crotch kicking has been/is being aided and abetted by organized religions. They take refuge in reason. Applied reason, after all, has led to indoor plumbing (among a few other conveniences).
I'm not much of a fan of organized religions myself. I don't think we necessarily need a mediator betwixt ourselves and God. 20 minutes of daily meditation, certain books, certain selections of Beethoven and Duke Ellington, and recently, certain videos of Jordan Peterson lectures serve as pathways to transcendence for me.
Your gonna' have to find your own path.
Be wary of well-meaning, big-brained, big-hearted people who are good at creating carefully reasoned heavens on Earth -- on paper. The more verbiage and carefully constructed graphs/equations/statistics/etceterics the better the chance people will wind up dead.
I guess there's no way to postpone this any further. I've put it off till last because I'm sick of this subject, a subject that at one time I found fascinating.
As I understand it (I could be wrong, I'm wrong with disturbing regularity) the idea behind this country was maximum freedom facilitated by minimal government. This is the fastest way for a new country to get rich, and we did.
Many sins were committed along the way. Two biggies come immediately to mind. Although the vast majority of Native Americans were killed off by disease, genocide was regularly employed to reduce a tiny remnant to a tinier remnant so we could steal their lands. We enslaved as many Africans as we could get our hands on and treated them like high functioning livestock.
We fought a civil war over the latter issue which still holds the record for most Americans killed in any given war. But in short order, the land of the free adopted Jim Crow laws and practices and African-Americans endured nearly a century of a government-sanctioned boot on their necks.
Unfortunately, genocide, slavery, and rigid class systems -- globally and historically speaking -- have been the rule, not the exception. In fact, all three still exist, just a little less so at the moment. However, with a few carefully placed weapons of mass destruction here, an economic collapse over there... well, let's just say our Snowflakes will have much more than global warming to worry about.
[If any of 74% of 16 to 24-year-old Callowyutes in the UK happen to read this and are traumatized by my use of the S-word above, please accept my insincere apologies. Fortunately, you have free healthcare so make sure you sign up for mental health counseling ASAP.]
Anyways... In spite of ourselves, we've become the richest (and fattest) country the world has ever seen. We elected the African-American son of a single mom to be president, twice. At the moment, a former reality show and fake wrestling star is running the country. The unemployment rate (well, officially anyway) is 4.1% as this is being composed. What a country.
But we all hate each other. Well, not really.
But imagine yourself as an undergrad and gullible anthropology major from the planet Tralfamadore, with dreams of becoming Tralfamadore's leading America expert, and spending your junior year abroad visiting Earth.
Suppose that a doctoral candidate/teaching assistant with a huge chip on its (it's complicated) gidermp (sort of like a shoulder, also complicated) and a vicious sense of humor had conned you into believing that watching cable news channels was an excellent way to understand American Earthlings.
Now, it's common knowledge on Tralfamadore that America, in the course of the last seven or eight decades defeated (with a lot of help, of course) attempts by murderous fascists and then even more murderous communists to take over the world.
It's common knowledge that America specifically, and a good bit (and rising) of the planet in general, have achieved an unprecedented level of prosperity.
[Gentlereaders, I know you know what's next. My Dear Stickies, here's hoping that you're still here and/or not living in caves and huts and the like.]
Unfortunately, if our visiting scholar were to immerse itself in an intense study of cable news channels it would in short order try and return home before the second American Civil War breaks out (or Li'l Rocket Man starts lobbing intercontinental anthrax infused water balloons in our direction).
Unfortunately, although this is supposed to be the last installment of the Before I Wake Up Dead series I'm going to have to finish up next week because unfortunately (GRIN) I've gone on too long. And unfortunately, this nerve pill they have me taking in an attempt to treat my spinal stenosis without having surgery renders me sleepy and dizzy and hungry and unmotivated. I need a nap.
It's like smoking weed -- with the euphoria removed (unfortunately). I'll bet The Gummit has something to do with it. Poppa loves you.
Have an OK day.
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©2017 Mark Mehlmauer (The Flyoverland Crank)
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