Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Essay: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic

Essay: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Robert A. Hall
March, 2010

Permission to forward, post or re-print this essay is granted by the author.

It was a great country while it lasted. Nothing tangible lasts forever, not stars, or planets, or people or flowers or birds. Certainly not political systems. We can be certain that the American Republic will have an ending as surely as it had a beginning. But when?

Predicting the future is fraught with risk. In the hundreds of opinion pieces I’ve published over the years, I’ve had some notable success doing so. In 1998, three years before 9/11, I published a column headed, “America’s War on Terror will be long, slow and cruel.” In that column I wrote that terrorists now had the power to destroy large buildings. Pretty prescient, yes, but I’ve made my share of predictions that were completely off the mark.

Emerging trends or sudden events can completely alter what looked to be inevitable. The death of a key leader, a new technology, a natural disaster striking your country—or your opponent’s—all can alter the seemingly-inevitable future.

Certainly the American Republic has been both resilient and flexible since its improbable emergence from the fire of revolution. It survived a terrible civil war, an outcome that seemed highly unlikely at the time. It survived the Great Depression. It led and won the fight against global tyranny in WWII, a victory that may appear inevitable now, but was a damn near run thing at the time. And it faced down the monster of soulless Communism, despite the infatuation of large numbers of our vapid intellectual class with the joys of collectivism, as seen from afar.

And yet, despite this history of resilience and triumph, I think that there is about an 80% certainty that the American Republic will collapse within the next twenty years, and be replaced with something else—perhaps several entities. They will not be models of classical liberal democracy. That this will be accompanied by economic privation, great violence and mass suffering I consider inevitable. That the surviving citizens of the new entity or entities will enjoy anything close to our freedom or standard of living I believe highly unlikely. The Jamestown rule—no work, no eat—will be rigidly enforced.

Each of several challenges facing us is both complex and over-whelming, and we no longer seem to have “the right stuff” to deal with any of them. While we might successfully, though not painlessly, face down each of them individually, their convergence makes the Republic’s survival highly problematic. Americans want the benefits of the good life, but far too many want someone else to pay the costs and make the sacrifices for them to have it. Few are willing to sacrifice their comfort, their cash or their standard of living—never mind their lives—to protect the Republic and the system of political and economic freedom that created the material wealth that is the envy of the planet, far beyond what our grandfathers could have dreamed. Just one example: In WWII, our forces were led by graduates of Harvard, Yale and other leading institutions. Since Vietnam, military services is disparaged and shunned by the elites who benefit the most from our system.

We are victims of our economic success. Fat and comfortable Republics have ever been prey to wolves and barbarians, and, in our case, there are as many inside the gates as outside.

Here are the convergent forces that I believe are likely to destroy the Republic:

Fiscal Chaos: The National Debt is now $12.6 trillion, up $2 trillion in President Obama’s first 421 days. That debt now measures 64% of Gross Domestic Product. Add to that projected annual deficits of over a trillion dollars a year for the rest of the Obama years. Every dollar that government spends must be taxed from the private sector, or borrowed, thus reducing money available for private sector economic development while increasing the debt, or printed. Fiat money creates hyper-inflation, as Robert Mugabe could tell Barack Obama, destroying savings and wealth.

What happens when no one will lend us more money? Moody’s says the US is in danger of loosing its AAA bond rating. That downgrade would, of course, cost billions annually in increased payments on the national debt. And at some point, China and everyone else will say, “That’s all there is!” After all, we are not the only debtor nation in the world. Europe is in worse shape than we are. It now looks like the EU will put a temporary patch on Greece, the canary in the Europe’s coal mine, but that will only delay their coming disaster. Just like us, the EU politicians are kicking the can down the road, getting reelected by buying benefits through debt on their watch. But the day is fast approaching when the can won’t budge no matter how hard it’s kicked.

Add to all this a Social Security System that has started paying out more money than it is taking in, a Social Security Trust Fund that has been spent and is now basically a shoebox full of IOUs from the Treasury, and a Medicare System that, even before ObamaCare, was predicted to be insolvent in seven years, the massive retirement of the baby boomers, and will need a lot more in taxes from everyone, not just the top 5% as Obama promised, just to slightly postpone the disaster.

Then look at the other entitlement obligations the government has to veterans and government retirees. And I’m sure I’ve left out other benefit groups that we owe huge sums to.

Throw in the ever expanding government workforce, supported by a shrinking private sector. Government employee wages have done quite well in the recession. The percentage of federal civil servants making more than $100,000 a year jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent during the first year and a half of the recession, according to USA Today. The ruling party is as much indebted to public unions (the SEIU) as to trial lawyers and welfare recipients for their power base. See: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/obama_and_the_government_emplo.html

Government doesn’t create wealth. Yes, government workers pay taxes. Let’s say that they pay 30%, though that’s wildly inflated I’m sure. That leaves 70% of their salaries to be paid by the shrinking private sector. Plus the private sector has to also pay for the office buildings, computers, cars and paperclips the government employees need to operate. (The government may be trying to get into the wealth-creating business by owning companies like GM and Chrysler. But government-run businesses are always economic disasters, as decisions get made on the basis of politics and bureaucratic rules, not economic factors. Ask the leaders of the defunct Soviet Union.) And government intervention in the economy, from price controls to “affordable housing,” always ends badly. Then they cover it up by making things worse.

Now comes the huge new entitlement of ObamaCare, which they say will reduce the deficit by covering 30 million more people, through additional taxes and Medicare cuts. The additional taxes, even if they were only on the top 5% of earners as Obama solemnly pledged, will take money from the economy those payers would have spent on other things, perhaps on sustaining your job. The Medicare cuts WILL. NOT. HAPPEN. The politicians are never going to anger millions of seniors, all of whom vote. Medicare is probably the site of the most fraud and scams in the country, worth maybe $100 billion annually. But if getting rid of fraud was easy, or even possible, why haven’t they already done it? Because government is big, slow, inefficient and bureaucratic, thus an easy target for fraud. And that fraud target just got a lot bigger.

ObamaCare is predicted to cost about $1 trillion in the first six years—it will only be in effect for six of the ten years the CBO guessed at, though many of the taxes will be in effect for all ten. (Note that the CBO is required to accept the projections of the politicians, so if they say they are going to save $500 billion in Medicare, the CBO accepts that as though it had some basis in reality. And if they say they are going to transform lead into gold, the CBO…well, you get the idea.) What will be the cost of ObamaCare be for the second ten years and how will it drive the deficit? No one can really guess how many trillions. The National Center for Policy Analysis has gathered the predicted costs from various sources. They are astronomical. See: http://www.john-goodman-blog.com/obamacare-by-the-numbers/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=HA#more-9545

And it’s only the beginning. We can’t stop this avalanche, regardless of Tea Parties and republicans. Obama, Reid and Pelosi have all promised supporters the next step is a public option. The fact that the government now orders vastly increased insurance company payouts through eliminating caps, requiring coverage of pre-existing conditions and expanding mandated coverage, while being able to do the popular thing and deny rate increases means the Obama administration can now bankrupt the insurance companies at their leisure, leaving a public option as the only option. In 10 years, it will be Medicare for all.

To the fiscal disaster, throw in the many states, led by California, Illinois and other bastions of Democrat legislative control that are beyond insolvent. It’s not just the recession. Many state legislatures have spent far beyond their states’ ability to pay even if the economy was booming. Add to their huge deficits the over $1 trillion the states owe to retirees that is not there, and the problem becomes insoluble. See: http://www.uncoverage.net/2010/02/unfunded-pension-liability-trillion-dollar-gap/

And: http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=19133&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DPD

Then include unfunded liabilities by local governments and government agencies. The Chicago Transit Authority had a $1.5 billion pension deficit in 2007. Peanuts by ObamaCare standards, but multiply that by all the cities and agencies in the country and you’re talking real money. See: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=alwTE0Z5.1EA

Now add to the states’ un-payable fiscal burden the vast expansion of Medicaid mandated by ObamaCare. The wonder isn’t that several states immediately announced they were suing to stop ObamaCare. The wonder is that the all 50 aren’t. Yet.

Now add in demographics. The United States currently has a birthrate of 2.1 live births per woman. This is exactly the replacement rate, which puts us in far better shape than Europe, where the birthrate ranges from 1.89 to 1.23 or lower, a decline that the native populations probably can’t recover from.

But America is only barely at the replacement rate due to groups like the Mormons, and to Hispanic immigrants. Will these be the high-work-ethic, well-educated workers needed to support us baby boomers in our golden years? Can Jose doing a “job Americans don’t want” support two seniors on Social Security and Medicare? Doubtful.

And another large percentage of the birth rate is the children born to single mothers in the inner cities. I’ve read that 70% of black births are out of wedlock. Our PC worship of multiculturalism has long made obeisance to the black ghetto culture that Dr. Thomas Sowell reports blacks took from southern, poor whites. It is a culture which disdains education, is always ready to do violence over touchy points of honor, and where young males glory in leaving a trail of abandoned children doomed to poverty. For Democrats, the bright spot is these children will be their economic slaves, locked in as voters of the plantation-welfare state, doing the party’s bidding for their daily crust. These are not the workers who will pay the taxes to support millions of retirees, who, thanks to the medical system now being destroyed, enjoy the longest life span in the world (after you factor out homicide and car wrecks).

I’m not picking on blacks, but on the liberals whose philosophy has enslaved so many minorities in permanent poverty. The coming dark ages will be harder on our minority citizens than on anyone. Besides, minorities are hardly alone. In 2005, according to the IRS, the lowest 50% of income earners paid 3% of federal taxes, while the top 5% of earners paid 60%. This was under Bush, who you will recall was always accused of helping the rich! By the end of Obama’s first term, it is likely the lowest 50% of earners will pay no taxes at all, and a good many will get checks from the government at tax time, taken from the more productive. This majority of non-payers have every incentive to vote for politicians who promise ever more government programs and spending, at someone else’s expense. As Frederic Bastiat, a French Economist, said over 150 years ago, “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

Will the economic recovery save us? JFK started an economic boom—and increased government revenue—by cutting capital gains taxes. Obama promises to raise them, just one of many factors, including ObamaCare and attacks on banks and insurance companies, which are keeping investors jittery and trillions sitting on the sidelines, stifling our efforts to recover from the “affordable housing for everyone” driven recession. People with any cash aren’t sure if they should put it in the market, or into gold coins in Switzerland. Trillions are being held back from the economy in fear of higher taxes and greater efforts to milk the prosperous.

But speaking of Europe, their welfare and healthcare systems are far more “progressive” than ours. (Workers in Greece get to retire at 56, giving them lots of time to riot in the streets over badly-needed benefit cuts.) They have far fewer younger workers. Their importation of Muslim “guest” workers is creating more problems than it solves, as a significant portion of those Muslims are on the dole, refuse to integrate, and recognize only Shari’a law which includes wife beating, child-marriages, polygamy, and second class status for women. They include a significant number of radicalized Muslims determined to impose Islam on Europe by violence, make all non-Muslims second class citizens and exterminate the Jews. Muslim guest workers are not the “change we can believe in” that will save Europe. Given how interrelated the world’s economy is, when the socialist system in Europe collapses, it may draw us into the maelstrom, years ahead of our own pre-destined economic collapse.

Both political parties have been passing this entitlement fiscal crisis forward, since at least 1932. The pain of fixing it was greater every year. To seriously try to do so guaranteed you would be defeated by the Barack Obamas of the world, who believed in ever larger government and ever more government spending. So the crisis has worsened from year to year, and is now long past fixing. Members of both parties get elected by making it worse. George W. Bush took a whack at some Social Security reform, and got clabbered for it, adding to his unpopularity. (See: http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/broken_government/articles/entry/1054/)

Since our tax system is dependent on the millions of citizens who honestly and voluntarily comply, we may face a tax revolt that will make things even worse. Looking at the massive increase in government spending, won’t more taxpayers chose the Tim Geithner/ Tom Daschle/Charlie Rangel “honest mistake” approach to taxes and seek ways to not pay? When Massachusetts citizens forced a vote on lowering the state income tax from 5.85% to 5.20%, 41% of the people voted for higher taxes. So the bureaucrats helpfully left both rates on the tax forms. Few of those who thought taxes should be higher have paid at the higher rate. See: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070719182659AAzCo79 If 20% of Americans become disgusted tax scofflaws, most will get away with it because the IRS will be overloaded. And the fiscal crisis will get worse. (Of course, maybe they already are and only you and I are now paying our fair share.)

No party will be able to get elected supporting the ever more painful measures that would fix the fiscal mess. We all belong to entitlement groups and want our entitlements. I turn 65 in 13 months, and I have some health challenges. You bet I want my Medicare and Social Security. So the fiscal crisis will grow worse and the US will descend into chaos, until there are riots in the streets, fiscal collapse and martial law as the entitlement obligations cannot be met by taxation, printing monopoly money or borrowing. Cities like Detroit will be no-go war zones. Fiscal collapse may well be followed by political disunion, and certainly a pounce by our enemies. I’ve been telling my friends that they should teach their kids to shoot, hunt and grow potatoes, skills that will be needed in the transformed America Barack Obama promised us.

And we’d be lucky if the Fiscal Crisis was our only problem.

Islam, mentioned above, is on the march. Pabulum about “Islam is a religion of peace:” and “moderate Muslims” will not deter one murder. Yes, there are millions of moderate Muslims who want only to live in peace, just as there were millions of moderate Germans and Japanese in 1938 who wanted the same. And they are equally irrelevant. As with Shinto, another religion we had to put down, most of the mainstream schools of Islamic thought teach the dominance of Islam over the entire world, accept or proselytize the necessity of it being achieved by violence, and offer three choices to non-believers: convert to Islam, die or accept second-class citizenship as Dhimmis. There are Islamic movements working to achieve this through agitation, demands, and the courts, the so-called “stealth jihad,” and there are movements seeking it through violence. But the number of Muslims seeking it is growing, and is not a “tiny minority of extremists.”.

We have faced down nation states before, but how do you face down a combined religious-political system that is an entire way of life, has 1.3 billion followers and is in almost every country on earth? (Shinto was only in Japan.) That seems impossible, so the official position of both parties has to been to placate Islam with foreign aid to Muslim-ruled countries and concessions to the stealth Jihad at home. This only buys more demands for more concessions or more “aid.” And our ability to pay Jizra (the Qur’an-mandated, often-ruinous tax tribute required of non-Muslims in Muslim countries) in foreign aid is going to be destroyed by the fiscal crisis discussed above.

One option is surrender. Allowing the gradual imposition of Shari’a (Muslim) law means abandoning gender equality, freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but allowing child marriages, polygamy and wife beating.

The other is a war so awful that it goes beyond what our respect for persons and rights now allows. It’s one thing to fire bomb civilians in Japanese and German Cities. It’s quite another to have firing squads here and men with knives in dark allies. Waterboarding isn’t the half of what victory will require. Faced with that, our leaders in both parties have chosen a gradual approach to option one, postponing the defeat until after they are safely out of office.

Muslim populations are growing rapidly in Europe, and soon will be able to prevent, through violence or voting, any European action against Muslim regimes that sponsor terrorism. Then we will be America Alone as Mark Steyn points out in his excellent book of that title.

And if—maybe when—an a-bomb goes off in Tel Aviv, New York and/or Washington, DC? What then? One thing will be certain—there will instantly be a 90% majority of US citizens who will demand security over the Bill of Rights. Civil Libertarians might want to contemplate a post-atomic-attack America. But we have no good options for denying Iran nuclear weapons and the Obama approach of turning the other cheek has only gotten us slapped.

And if Pakistan becomes a failed state and it’s nukes fall into Taliban hands? Or it gets into a shooting war with our ally, India?

Not to mention that the on-going and highly necessary War on Terror/Overseas Contingency Operations (is Fort Hood overseas?) will require a lot of treasure to protect our freedoms—treasure that is fast pouring down the federal rat hole. They also require troops and those troops may be brought home to deal with chaos here.

China. Islam, of course, isn’t our only international challenge. China is building a military, including a blue water navy and advanced tactical fighters of the kind Obama just cancelled. Who are they expecting to challenge with them? Their Tibetan slaves? The Uighurs? Russia, while it’s preoccupied with its own Muslim problem? Perhaps. But the Chinese economy is growing and will be the largest in the world, and China, the “Central Kingdom” has always seen itself as a potential superpower. They may own our debt, but they are still a tyranny. They don’t love us, even if Obama bows and scrapes, sneaks the Dali Lama out past the trash cans and doesn’t dare to mention human rights in their presence. Note to the global warming alarmists. Even if you are right about AGW, we could beggar ourselves and not make a dent into the carbon output China will put out in the next twenty years, regardless of what they say to our taxpayer-funded congressmen vacationing in Denmark. Name a Communist country that was good for the environment? East Germany?

Mexico. I saved the boil on the border for last. The leftists like to portray themselves on the moral high ground, defending the poor “undocumented workers” who strive for better lives. (Next they will call street drug dealers “undocumented pharmacists.”) But can the United States take in every person in the world who would like to come here? Of course not. Doing so would give us a standard of living below Zimbabwe and a crime rate above South Africa. So we have to have limits on immigration. To do that we have to have laws, and enforce them. Currently, the limit on immigration is all those who we let in legally, and all those who sneak in illegally, who we don’t catch at the border. They are proposed to have a “path to citizenship.”

But as the fiscal train wreck hits, can we afford to care for 12 million illegals in our hospitals, educate them in our schools and put them on our welfare rolls? Or the millions more yet to come? Yes, there are many who can be self-supporting and pay taxes, or who serve in our military with honor. I’m okay with them. But what about the majority when the fiscal crisis hits?

And this is just the tip of the enchilada. Mexico is losing a very violent war with the drug cartels. If they weren’t busy killing each other and anyone in the line of fire, they could take over the government. Our military has contingency plans for two potential failed states: Mexico and Pakistan. Lovely.

That drug war is spilling over the border and exploding into our inner cities as the cartels establish branches here to further operations, aided by the flood of illegals (which also serves as cover for Islamic terrorists to enter the US). They are ruthless enough to make us long for John Gotti, or at least Tony Soprano. This is going to get a lot uglier—and more expensive—very rapidly. Expect additional hand-wringing and strongly worded statements from the White House.

And as it gets nastier and more dangerous in Mexico proper, the barrios of Little Mexico in LA and Chicago will look all that more attractive to potential “undocumented workers.”

With militant Islam, China and Mexico piling on the fiscal crisis, it is hard for me to see how we survive as a stable, free Republic. And I haven’t mentioned North Korea’s nukes or a resurgent tyranny in Russia.

Add to all this an energy policy and environmental lobby that prevents us from developing new nuke plants, refineries, oil reserves, coal or natural gas in homage to global warming, thus beggaring our economy to support our enemies abroad, and I promise you that in twenty years, your kids won’t be the least bit worried about global warming. They’ll be too busy scrounging for food and re-loading.

Now imagine a Presidential Candidate of either party honestly addressing this crisis convergence:

“My Fellow Americans, we face hard times, and the need for shared sacrifice and pain if we are to save the Republic. If elected I promise to reduce Social Security payments by 10%, to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70, to cut all Federal employee salaries, including Congress, by 10%, to lay off 10% of Federal employees, excluding combat troops and security agencies, to cut Federal retirement payments by 10% to everyone, including veterans, to cut off Medicare for anyone with over $300,000 in assets, to eliminate the Departments of Education and Energy, to cut off spending on environmental matters for things based on bad science like Global Warming (see http://tartanmarine.blogspot.com/2010/03/global-warming-articles.html), to cut off all funding for Agent Orange related claims (see http://tartanmarine.blogspot.com/2009/12/agent-orange.html), to eliminate all funding for the arts and public radio or TV, to eliminate all earmarks, to eliminate school lunches and Federal support for anything in education except teaching the basics, to eliminate school loans, to eliminate support for agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to cut federal funding to states that don’t take similar steps, and to eliminate all foreign aid, earmarks and an additional long list of government programs and agencies which my team is drawing up.”

“In addition, my fellow Americans, we will start executing people convicted of Medicare or other government fraud, without appeal, right after conviction. We will establish marshal law in the drug-infested inner cities and send in the military to destroy the gangs, foreign or domestic, with shoot-on-sight orders and officers authorized to hold military tribunals on the spot, followed by execution. In addition, our military will seal the southern border and conduct punitive raids into Mexico against the drug cartels. I am also drawing up plans to confront Islamic terrorism. Foreign terrorists will be declared to be outside the US Constitution and Geneva Convention, and all actions against them authorized. We will immediately blockade Iran, and bomb their nuclear facilities, so be prepared for gas at $10 a gallon. We will open all areas of American territory to development of oil, gas and coal resources, and fast track both nuclear plants and new refineries, eliminating all environmental laws that slow or block them. Plans to deal with China and North Korea are being developed. We will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against Iran, Pakistan, North Korea or any other states if that’s what is needed to keep terrorists from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

Such a fascist candidate would be unlike to live to Election Day, let alone get any votes at all, probably not even mine. This program violates Americans’ constitutional rights and, worse, their sacred sense of entitlement to all the benefits that big government is now expected to provide. It risks their personal safety and would require more economic pain, personal suffering and sacrifice than the country has endured since the Civil War, when we were a hardier and more stoic people. No one would dare run on 10% of what is outlined above. So the coming fiscal and geo-political chaos will just have to happen.

I’m lucky, I guess, that with my health challenges and age I won’t be here with your kids to enjoy the world that the Obots are making.

This doesn’t mean that I’m out of the fight. Over my desk I have a Marine bumper sticker that reads, “Don’t you quit on me, Maggot.” Every day I hear Sgt. Harris, my Senior DI, screaming it in my ear. I’m going out punching. As a teen, I was into traditional poetry—and I still am. One of my favorites for over 50 years is “The Kings” by Louise Imogen Guiney, which concludes:

While Kings of eternal evil
Yet darken the hills about,
Thy part is with broken saber
To rise on the last redoubt;

To fear not sensible failure,
Nor covet the game at all,
But fighting, fighting, fighting,
Die, driven against the wall.

Good luck. Keep fighting.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts state senate. He blogs at www.tartanmarine.blogspot.com.


  1. A bleak picture to be sure, but also seems accurate in its depiction of the mountains we face.

  2. A very sobering essay to be sure. I certainly do not think however, that is out of the realm of possibilities for the future of this country.

  3. What we needed right from the Founding was an article IN the Constitution (not merely an amendment that might be argued over or ignored) saying something to the effect that no person, group, or state can have as a right anything that had to be provided by another person, group, or state. As smart and forward-thinking as they were, the Founders couldn't have concieved it would be necessary to point this out. Too late now, of course; it'd never pass as an Ammendment.
    Ron Pittenger

  4. MR HALL, I am so honored to have come across your blog the other day. I don't believe in cloning....but in your case....

    In Chirst,

  5. Ah! Clear thinking, and honest speaking. Incredible!
    What happened jarhead? Get kicked in the nuts by an Airborne soldier in some dive on Tu Do Street? (sorry, don't know any streets in Da Nang)

    Couldn't agree more.....except for the "resigned" attitude! Pull you head outta your ass, what you're doin' counts! Semper Fi!

  6. Thanks for the poem, I tracked down the full version and added it to my favorite poems doc.

    The issues your 'candidate' voice will surely have to be dealt with, either a more acceptable fashion at the near end of our point in time, or more closely to as stated at the 'far' end of time.

    We'll see. What can we do? Only our best to change it... a poem in reply,

    "Edgar Allen Guest - "It Couldn't Be Done"
    Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
    But he, with a chuckle replied
    That maybe it couldn't,
    but he would be one who wouldn't say so 'til he tried.

    So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin
    On his face; if he worried, he hid it.
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn't be done, and he did it.

    Somebody scoffed, "Nah, you'll never do that!
    At least no one has ever done it."
    But he took off his coat and hat
    And the first thing we knew, he'd begun it.

    With a lift of his chin, and a bit of a grin
    Without any doubting or quit it.
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn't be done, and he did it.

    There are thousands who'll tell you it could not be done.
    There are thousands to prophesy failure.
    There are thousands to point out to you one by one
    The dangers that wait to assail you.

    But just buckle right in with a bit of a grin,
    Just take off your coat and go to it.
    Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
    That can't be done - and you'll do it.

    And what if the passage of time proves out that it couldn't be done?

    Eh. Well, then a bit of this,

    "To fear not sensible failure,
    Nor covet the game at all,
    But fighting, fighting, fighting,
    Die, driven against the wall.

    , and a bit of that,
    "...And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

    , and in a thousand years the world will begin anew again.

  7. This comment was sent to me from another blog which posted this essay. ~Bob

    As I read Hall's predictions, information, and logic I found myself wishing that there were something, anything, that I could disagree with.

    There was nothing. But there is more.

    I live in the Detroit suburbs. The economy has driven Detroit real estate prices into the cellar. Houses that sold for $200k 3 years ago now can be bought for $5,000. Buy one and your major expense is going to be burglar alarms and firearms.

    There used to be an economic wall around Detroit. Suburban real estate prices were too high for drug gangs to set up shop in the suburbs. Not any more. Drug gangs can buy suburban property for pocket change. Although this removes them somewhat from their main geographic market it also moves them away from the violence of competing gangs. Add to that, the suburbs have better police who have less to do than Detroit police. Drug gangs that move to the suburbs are protected by the safety provided by suburban police.

    I fear we are entering an era where more and more Americans are going to have to take steps to protect themselves from their neighbors.

    We have neighborhood crime watch groups which are largely to prevent criminals from coming into the neighborhood and they have some effect. But what do you do when the enemy is "in the wire?"

    The security of one's family, self, and property is going to be a greater expense. Add to that, that Obama will eventually try to disarm Americans and we will no longer be watchdogs. We'll be rabbits in a world of wolves.

    Obama has to disarm America and also nullify the First Amendment. He cannot accomplish his objectives in an America of armed citizens.

    Watch disarming, like loss of other freedoms, to be done insidiously. Nobody will tell us to turn in firearms next Tuesday. There will be a gradual erosion -- limitations on ammunition, licensing restrictions and costs, illegality of semi-automatic weapons, changed interpretation of the 2nd Amendment by an Obama-packed Supreme Court, and so on.

    Ann Coulter's Canadian experience is enlightening. Obama will attack our 1st Amendment rights by making "hate" rhetoric illegal and defining hate rhetoric as criticism of the government.

    Obama, the shadow puppeteers behind him, and his administration all know that the First and Second Amendments must be subverted for them to work their plans for America.


  8. Yo Jarhead! (yeah, it's me again) It seems alot of people haven't figured out the truth yet. The fact is, that 80% of the north american population read (and believe) The National Inquirer, they shop at Kmart, and weigh 60 lbs more than is healthy......AND THEY GET TO VOTE!!!

    THEY are the reason (plus man's inheritant laziness), that this situation exists.

    The "Fathers" set this nation, and it laws, up so that we could carry on where they left off.

    What they failed to see, was the EASE that people would find themselves in, due to the richness of the nation, and the doctrine they iniated. Ease makes for comfort, and comfort makes for lasitude (both physical,mental,and spiritual. And now, people are caught in a silken web/trap. They don't have the will to fight out of it. Someone HAS to.

    Do any of you think that EVERYBODY was onboard, when the American Revelotion first began?

    A few years back, a little Hindu, named Mohandas K Ghandi, defeated the might of the British government......simply by convincing his followers to sit on thier asses, and refuse to comply.......without firing a single freaking shot!

    People believe that they NEED government. What they fail to see is that without the average person, government comes to a screeching fricken hault. All it takes is non-compliance.
    An American named Thoreau, saw the same thing. Why can't you?

    It is not necessary to convince the "Twinkie-munchers" of any great nationalistic ideal. All that is needed is to take away thier Twinkies.

    Educate the educatable. (You're doing that here.)
    And bear Ghandi in mind. (NOBODY wants another 1865.) The average person is alot smarter than is believed. And they are getting more educated each year. This meduim helps. People like you help. Have faith. Work for the future. Never give up!

    Put yourselves in the place of the "Fathers". Think as they did. Have thier courage, and resolve.
    America......the idea of America.....is worth fighting, and dying for(you've already done that!) What has changed? You are NOT alone.

  9. On medical reform : The current medical system in the USA is very inefficient due to the insurance companies management fees, and various middleman that add no value. I'm Canadian, but have relatives who are american citizens, my sister included. The biggest concern is health care when living in the USA. Its a constant blight on life for US citizens. It shouldn't be though. Some things should not be left to the free market, and healthcare is not one of them. Healthcare in the US costs 3-4 times what it does elswhere in civilized countries. Its all waste on insurance paperwork, premiums, blah blah blah, middlemen who add no value.
    When will the US public get smart enough to embrace publice healthcare ?
    Not soon I hope because it still leaves a huge competitive advantage to manufacturing in Canada because all healthcare is already covered.
    Carry on with the Tea Party please.

  10. "all waste on insurance paperwork, premiums, blah blah blah, middlemen who add no value."

    Riiight. It was nice to see your Prime Minister recently putting his heart into that message.

  11. Blogspot is giving me an error mesage when I okay this post, so trying here. ~Bob

    "all waste on insurance paperwork, premiums, blah blah blah, middlemen who add no value."

    Riiight. It was nice to see your Prime Minister recently putting his heart into that message.

  12. Van: It was the "Premier/Governor" of Newfoundland(a province/state, kinda like Maine, who went to the US for heart treatment; not the Prime Minister/President.

    Whlie I agree with most of your statements, I wish you'd grab a bit more intell before you make statements that make you look..........un-informed.

    Probably, the best option, in regards health care, is a combination of both.....but, in comparisom to the way the country is presently being run (and where it's headed), the healthcare issue is really,really small potatoes, and only takes attention away from the real, important, issues.

  13. aninnymouse said "I wish you'd grab a bit more intell before you make statements that make you look..........un-informed."

    Uhm... it's Canada... I am uninformed about them, and intend to stay that way. If their prime premier needs to go to a country most of the Canadian politico's and media denigrate, to take advantage of the health care system we have, because they've already destroyed their own in their country, and yet still speak so smugly about it and themselves... not to mention the fine example of free speech practice they performed on Marc Steyn... last year(?), or Ann Coulter last week... why would I care to get more informed than what can be unintentionally gleaned from a half overheard sound bite?

    Now, if you want to chat about the U.S. Constitution, or Western Civilization in general, I'm there for you, but Canada? Take off eh.

    "Probably, the best option, in regards health care, is a combination of both..."

    Yes... what do you do when there's just to darn much cyanide in the soup? Yeah, just add more broth, yeah... that's the ticket.

    "...the healthcare issue is really,really small potatoes, and only takes attention away from the real, important, issues."

    Yep, no need to worry about that cyanide, just got to get this metaphor soup to taste better... bigger potatoes, more salt, that'll do it.

    (Psst! The problem isn't 'healthcare' the problem is the ideas behind the system behind the healthcontrol, and automobile mfg, and banking, etc, which is anti-property rights, destructive to all rights, and anti-American by extension. You just keep standing there and keep a close eye on that barn door, meanwhile we'll concentrate on corralling the horses.

    Oh Canada!

  14. I'd like to add my 2cents regarding the healthcare debate. America (as wealthy and prosperous as it is) is the only nation in the industrialized world that does not have some form of national health care plan for ALL citizens. And somehow the media and right wing conservatives have brainwashed the public into believing that a national health care plan (aka socialized medicine) is bad. What is so terribly wrong with ensuring all Americans have access to basic healthcare? Surely other Western nations can't ALL be wrong. Yes, it's expensive - but it's better than what America's got. Treating "socialized" medicine with such disdain - as if it were somehow inferior - is mind boggling. I suspect the average American has no clue what socialized medicine even means - talk about conservative propaganda! The ability to go see a doctor ANYTIME for ANY REASON and get medical attention regardless of how big your bank account is what socialized medicine means. Our doctors get paid well and our citizens enjoy the true freedom that comes with the knowledge that they don't have to make the decision between putting food on the table and going to see a doctor. There are many hardworking Americans who cannot afford healthcare premiums (or even their co-payments) and these are not people who have been sitting on a couch collecting welfare. These are people who have worked hard all their lives only to be bankrupted by medical bills or worse - die because they were denied treatment. In Canada, the government does not make medical decisions for you unlike HMO's in America. Our system pays for basic screening tests for everything! Mammograms, Colonoscopies, Angiograms, MRI's, CATScans, Blood Tests, etc...I could go on and on about basic procedures that we are covered for - which means illness such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes (which still exist) get caught early enough to make a difference. And despite all the rhetoric, no one but your healthcare provider and you - the patient - make decisions regarding treatment. Doctors don't have to submit for approval for anything - they just schedule treatment. Do we sometimes end up waiting a bit longer? Sure we do...but how is this any different from waiting for your HMO to approve treatment? This, after first being denied, then having to appeal. And just for the record, we still have insurance companies that offer coverage for health benefits for things that are not covered such as medicine/drugs, vision care, dental care, chiropractic care, alternative health care services, etc. So yes, we still have a thriving insurance industry that makes money - they just don't get to make decisions regarding my medical treatment.

  15. aninnymouse said "What is so terribly wrong with ensuring all Americans have access to basic healthcare?"

    I realize this might be difficult, since it requires thinking of more than one concept at a time, or rather it requires you to realize that one concept is deeply integrated with another concept, which is deeply integrated with another, and so on, but what is wrong with 'ensuring all Americans have access to basic healthcare', but the very least important issue is that it can only be done by forcing all Americans to purchase something they may not want - which is pretty darn bad all it's own.

    Another slightly more important issue, is that the sudden flood of demand, with no increase in supply (the hours Dr's & Nurses have available, the facilities within which to see patients, etc), without the self regulating mechanism of those 'visits' costing anything, results in long lines, stressed care providers (who are receiving no incentive or compensation for the increased demand on their time and effort), less input from Dr's or patients as the 'system' tries to get things under control by saying who will receive what, why & where, and eventually rationing of one sort or another. Perhaps you canadians enjoy your little raffle's to see who will get to see a Dr.... Americans? Not so much.

    Which brings us to "I suspect the average American has no clue what socialized medicine even means - talk about conservative propaganda!"

    Forget about the 'medicine' part, and try focusing on the 'socialized' part, do you have a clue what that means? Or have you bought into the candy coating of getting goodies "ANYTIME for ANY REASON"... FOR FREE!!!.

    There is nothing that is available for free. And the biggest cost of the attempt to act as if there is, is that you lose your right to your property, to control over your life, and give over your liberty to live your own life, to the vagaries and whims of those who have the power to decide what you can do, where you can do it, how much you can pay or be paid, but most of all you lose your right and ability to live your own life by your own decisions.

    That may be ok for canadians, your ancestors were to pansyish to stand up to the King George, you are probably just fine with being well cared for house slaves.

    We on the other hand, are Americans, and we are not ok with giving the responsibility for our own lives over to bureaucrats to plan out in exchange for their favors and best wishes.

    Take Off!

    "Sure we do...but how is this any different from waiting for your HMO to approve treatment?"

    Who do you think devised the current HMO's? Private business had just about discarded them as wastes of money, when Govt proposed them... to improve healthcare and control costs. Wanna bet what the result was?

    Oh, and I'd be happy to offer a quarter so you can buy a new ENTER key.

    (Sorry for sounding off Old Jarhead, bit of a touchy topic at the moment.

  16. Van: You know..... once you've heard a voice on the radio, in the darkness of the hill-country night......you never forget it. I hear the Navy speaking.

    When I said that healthcare was small potatos, it wasn't just verbology. What I mean, is that everything starts at the centre.(in this case, it's rotten to the core)

    That system you've put so much faith in, does'nt deserve your faith. BOTH sides of the equation need re-evaluations/re-construction in the worst way. They need a tertuary competitor.

    It's corrupt from the ground up. Rotten to the core. Many people, though pure at heart,are mis-led, by thier love of the nation.

    Veterns even more so, for they despise the notion that all those broken bodies they've seen, occured for less than honorable reasons.
    Who can blame them? Certainly, not I.

    What the man above was trying to articulate, was his desire to see all North Americans, looked after in an orderly, proficient manner (kinda like they are in an evac hospital).

    Your concern focuses on the threat to loss of individual freedom (a worthy concern,which would be particularly hienious to someone who had fought Communism during the formative years of his life.)
    None of this necessiates any verbal diahorea.
    Nor a slap in the mouth to another man's nation.
    So you consider Canada inconsequential, maybe others see America on it's last legs.

    Maybe the two nations should work together. Like they're doing in Afganistan.....as we speak.
    Arrogance, is often confused with insecurity. Ever heard that?

  17. Anonymous,
    That was a reasonable reply and I'll give you your name and try and avoid the barbs. You said,

    "That system you've put so much faith in, does'nt deserve your faith. BOTH sides of the equation need re-evaluations/re-construction in the worst way. They need a tertuary competitor.

    It's corrupt from the ground up. Rotten to the core. Many people, though pure at heart,are mis-led, by thier love of the nation.

    I think you mistake what I put my faith in, and I assure it is not this or any system, certainly not how they are regarded and operated as today. I do have high regard for the U.S. Constitution, but not for the document itself, but what it is the finest expression of to ever have been attained by Man. The ideas it represents, those of Classical Liberalism (and by that I mean a very long line of development going through Adams, Burke, Blackstone, Locke, Aquinas, Cicero, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Homer and a myriad of tributaries), which ultimately recognizes what is best and briefest expressed as,
    "... that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

    Over the last 20+ years of studying the roots of that in history, philosophy, literature, economics and politics, I've come to recognize that when that Government is used to sway, prevent or mandate that it's citizens act against those choices which they would otherwise make (and were not themselves improper), it infuses into 'the system' rapidly spreading rings of error, falsehood, stupidity (though while unaware of the ripples, the decisions have the appearance of being 'smart'), and destruction which spreads through the peoples persons, relations, economy and culture. Think of it as the Dark Invisible Hand.
    (size break - sorry for carrying on so)

  18. (cont)

    I do not oppose any of the many variants of socialism & statism on the basis of any party or patriotic affiliation, but because I see them to be, at their deepest root, not only wrong, but evil. And yes, I'm very well aware that the vast majority of those supporting such measures are completely unaware of this, and are intending to do nothing but good. However, you know where has a very fine road leading to it, paved with such intentions.

    I am also very much aware, through opened eyes and hard knocks, that the Principle that may be perceived in operation, is not necessarily the only principle involved, or even the most significant. I am very aware that at any time it may become apparent that I am missing something of importance, and I am always checking and self checking to see if that's the case.

    Oedipus's high intelligence and self assurance should be a warning to all (One warning I've noted here.

    "So you consider Canada inconsequential, maybe others see America on it's last legs.

    Maybe the two nations should work together. Like they're doing in Afganistan.....as we speak.
    Arrogance, is often confused with insecurity. Ever heard that

    I'm also well aware that Canada, during the Great Depression, experienced little or no bank failures, while the actions of the cocksure USA ensured the failure of thousands of banks and lives. We have not exactly learned much from that lesson. But have you either? Not only Canada, but the entire 'Anglosphere' I would love to see working together, and I've no interest in putting "U!S!A!" above other nations, I see them all in relation to those ideas I mentioned above, and those who corrupt or oppose those ideas, I'm confident will be reaping their own doom.

    I don't hold that opinion out of arrogance, or promote it out of insecurity, but because I all that I have experienced and learned, shows me that it is true. I would be eager to be proved wrong.

    Unfortunately, it hasn't happened yet.

  19. Van: There is little quetion, that both the Decleration of Independance, and the American Constitution ARE the finest documents ever penned by the hand of man. Only a fool could contest that.
    Your observed love for even one, shows your intellect, as well as your heart. Nobody should contest that.....certainly I don't. But THAT is not the question at this time. The question at this time, is what do we do about the current situation.

    I see deeper motivation in all this. I see a movement that not only involves the collapse of the US, but the collapse of democracry world wide.

    Many people, myself included, see America, as the bastion of democracy. If America is lost.....then , also, is the idea of democracy,

    Freedom loving people, world-wide, must know this, and rise, together to prevent the collapse of America.

    At the same time, America must bear the mantle of "father", NOT that of dominator.

    The reason that America is seen as a threat to world peace, is her current foriegn policy. That MUST change. People need to see America, as they did in times gone by....

    Gen. Eisenhaur warned us(on TV) about the hazards of the future. I saw it, and was listening. Were you?

    Money, and the hope of riches, make men crazy.
    There are people who play on that maxim, and use it to thier benifit.

    Herr Gobblels invented the use of radio, and multi-media, to further the will of state. Today it is a science. He would burst with pride!

    It all comes down to responsability. Each, and every one of us is responsible for the health of the nation. YOU, ME, EVERY SINGLE NORTH AMERICAN!
    The reverse side of the coin of freedom is responsibility!!! If the nation ails.....WE are responsible!

    What can one man do? Ask those men who died on a lonely hill, in places that nobody remembers. Ask the founding fathers.

    The answer is simple. It ALL starts with the determination of each,and every man, woman, and child.

    If every single human being, in North America desires freedom........IT IS THIER, INDIVIDUAL, RESPONSIBILITY TO SEE IT SURVIVE!

    If America collapses? Then ALL of us bear the responsability......equally.

    It is incumbant on ALL of us who see, and recognize the present danger, to do our part to make it known to everybody. And to do whatever is needed to see that accomplished.

  20. anonymous said "I see deeper motivation in all this."

    As do I... unfortunately the deeper motivations I see could not be compressed into one, two, or even three comment boxes. Not wishing to hemorrhage all that HTML on The Old Jarhead, you can find my reply here.

  21. I have no problem with everyone having access to health care. I just think they should have to pay for it. Get your priorities in line. Instead of the family eating at McDonald's save some toward health care insurace. That way you can be healthier and we all benefit. A four wheeler is not necessary and neither are all the other toys you choose to spend on. Everyday I see and hear obese peole complain about no heath care while they are stuffing their faces and smoking. So what is the problem? You want to see a doctor take responsibility!!!

  22. Right ON JarHead!!! U write as well as U speak! When the Nat. debt of OVER 64% of the GNP, we are way on the backside of the power curve & headed DOWN HILL FAST! Everyone knows U can't SPEND your way OUT of a ression, but the idoits in charge seem to think so & continue trying! The Obamacare plan needs to be repealed ASAP! What a piece of crap! IF U think health care is expensive NOW wait till it's FREE!!!!
    Keep up the great work!!! NOW is the time for all GOOD men & women to come the the aid of their COUNTRY!!!!

    Semper Fi!!!!


  23. Funny; regardless of age, we still remember the names of our drill instructors and their endearing axioms that are passed on from generation to generation.

    Well said Marine. Interesting times ahead...

  24. With health issues and a desire to retire in a few more years this former Marine making over $100K now per year for the Federal Government would gladly give up what you suggest (including 10% salary, retirement $, etc and work longer) a future President would need to demand if it was maybe you or someone like you who as that President could really give us a chance at getting back what was or could be and what so many have given their blood and guts for since this country was founded.

  25. I totally agree with all of your post, Sen. Hall. I work in a retail job that is hard physical work, but it is a job and I remind myself every day that having this type of job at my age (I am 45) is MY fault. I've attended college but never graduated, so this is all I could get. I see people every day with two and three kids buying groceries with an EBT card - food stamps, to me and you. These people work jobs but either report their income falsely, or they work for cash while our tax dollars pay for their food. A woman a few years younger than me has THREE children by different fathers and has not worked a day in over ten years. Yes, she gets welfare and food stamps, and yes, she is white. I believe in helping those who help themselves...that's all. Continuing to help those who refuse to work at any job (even a minimum-wage job) is just plain wrong. Give them a time-frame to find a job (convenience stores are always hiring, so are fast-food restaurants) and if they don't find a job within that time frame, tough shit. Let them starve. And as for government healthcare, well, if someone can't afford health care because a) they didn't use birth control and have several children with no support from the father of those children and b) because they don't work or won't get an education then again, that's just tough shit. If they want sympathy, look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis. To me, the major reason of the downfall of the economy of the United States are those that say "Oh, the poor unwed mother with her children and the poor illegal aliens, let's give them all the money and benefits we can. To hell with the hard-working tax-paying citizens, they can take care of themselves." I truly pity those that think this way. God help us all through the next two plus years of Obama's 'hope' and 'change'. His idea of hope and change is something I can do without!

  26. I keep expanding our garden every year, and for the first time in our marriage the wife says buy a gun. Also have become close to several farmers far enough away from the 'big' city that the violence won't reach for a while - and when it does, we're with folks that believe in 'you don't work, you don't eat'.

    My 'muddy' ball says if our government doesn't get really serious about cutting spending in the next 5 years, it'll take another 5 before implosion.

  27. UR extremely pessimistic and vastly underestimate the resolve of Americans to work together in the interest of our country. Your entire thesis is built on the assumption that corruption (mostly among liberal policy makers and poor city folks, who by definition are on the dole and/or involved in drug dealing, petty crime or worse) is rampant, and that at the end of the day evil triumphs over goodness - unless Americans submit to the decrees of some right wing Tyrant, who really knows how to "run a railroad" - Martial Law, summary executions, etc ... completely pathetic and truly sad.

    No doubt more challenging times are coming to America, for a lot of reasons, including the incompetence of the GOP and their stupid anti-American policies (where are those WMD's man?) - but Americans are tough, they will pull for each other and their communities, they won't quit on you, so don't quit on them!! ... btw: China is in an ALL OUT WAR now - a environmental war, and they are losing - their environment is getting ruined. And US trade policies are aiding this process ... P.S. Go to Friday worship at a local Mosque, then go to a Black Baptist Church some Sunday ... it might open your eyes.