If you study history, often you find that it's startling how little time it actually takes for a democracy or republic to descend into totalitarianism. I'm not talking about coups or revolutions; I'm talking about assaults on the system from within.
Hitler was elected; five years later he was dictator...and he had the approval of the press even before he controlled it. He was, after all, bringing socialism to Germany, and the press were (as always) enthusiastic supporters of socialism.
Think it can't happen here? For the moment, it can't: we still have the right to keep and bear arms; one of the first things Hitler did was require that all guns be registered. We still have ours, and if someone tries to seize power the way Hitler did, we can stop it.
In my own set of stories, the society goes from a peak shortly after a major interstellar war to a complete collapse about a quarter-century later. It's not impossible; and the things which could lead to a collapse of our way of life have been going on for more than 40 years.
The Anchoress, "Feel the Gleichschaltung". Let me ask again: think it can't happen here? Some of the things this administration is doing now are eerily reminiscent of things which happened in Nazi Germany.
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Proponents of ObamaCare have an enemies list. Why be surprised that socialists are engaging in the behaviors which socialists engage in?
Hitler had an enemies list. So did Stalin.
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Israel won't dignify Brzezinski's stupidity with a response.
Makes sense: Brzezinski isn't in charge of anything these days; he can say whatever he likes, but his opinions don't make US foreign policy.
Now, if the Obama administration takes this advice seriously, that would be a whole 'nother story. (It would also be a bad, bad idea to take seriously anything Brzezinski says. He's a moron!)
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"Sorry, we didn't really mean that Afghanistan was more important than Iraq; we were just saying that so we could criticize Bush.
That's what it all amounts to, folks: the libs didn't really think Afghanistan was more important than Iraq. It was just that Bush was betting the farm on Iraq, so they had to make sure that Iraq was a failure, so they could win elections.
If this isn't enough to make you re-examine your liberalism, you are utterly incapable of sentient thought.
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That Laffer on the impact of taxes on the Depression-era economy.
The Smoot-Hawley tariff of June 1930 was the catalyst that got the whole process going. It was the largest single increase in taxes on trade during peacetime and precipitated massive retaliation by foreign governments on U.S. products. Huge federal and state tax increases in 1932 followed the initial decline in the economy thus doubling down on the impact of Smoot-Hawley. There were additional large tax increases in 1936 and 1937 that were the proximate cause of the economy's relapse in 1937.
So let's look at what the Democrats propose to do:
1) Increase taxes to pay for ObamaCare
2) Increase taxes on energy to pay for "cap-and-trade"
3) Increase taxes to keep jobs in the US
4) Increase taxes by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire
#3 has already gotten a start with Obama's punitive 35% tariff on Chinese tires. Only a miracle can avert #4.
No matter what Obama himself would like us to believe, ObamaCare cannot happen without tax increases. The government is already running record deficits; socializing medicine will mean controlling 16% of the economy and that will not happen in a revenue-neutral fashion. The government will spend a lot more money than it is spending now, and that will have to be paid for somehow, as we cannot run the printing presses forever and expect our currency to retain any value.
"Cap-and-tax"--should it be passed into law--will represent the single largest tax increase in American history, and it will be a highly regressive tax hitting those who can least afford it the hardest. Everything will be more expensive because it takes energy to make stuff and it takes energy to ship it. The Democrat answer to this is to give the poor an energy subsidy--basically, increase taxes more so that the government can give the poor more money to pay their energy bills.
None of this is sound economic policy. It would not be sound in a booming economy; it is definitely not sound in a recession--yet all of this is not only planned by Democrats, but expected to pass without serious modification.
It's sheer hubris: "Screw what the history books say. I wasn't in charge back then! I can make it work because I'm smarter than those old farts were!" And we all know where such hubris leads.
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There are no tap-backs in an engagement.
Betrothal is a promise to marry; and as such, you must treat your relationship as if you are already married. In our culture, betrothal exists primarily to provide a "test period": the couple is serious enough to state publicly that they intend on marrying, and hence are to be treated as a unit. But going right from dating to marriage--our culture has found--tends to produce bad marriages, so we have the betrothal.
It's an error detection and correction mechanism; you learn whether you can really stand to spend the rest of your life with someone.
Needless to say, because it is a promise, you must adhere to it and its conditions; if you can't stick to that promise you're probably going to be incapable of sticking to the sworn oath of marriage. That's why there are no tap-backs; that's why you treat it as if you were already married. You can get out of betrothal fairly easily compared with getting out of a marriage.
So: a young woman cheated on her fiancee; she owned up to it and he broke it off. She thinks she deserves another chance; but does she? I'm not sure she does: if she cheated on him once, what is to stop her from cheating again? Particularly if he lets her get away with it?
If she cannot stand the thought of never being with another man, marriage is not for her. If she wanted that other man so much that she could not remain true to her betrothal, she is marrying the wrong man.
I do not feel sorry for this young woman; she made a serious mistake and is going to have to pay for it: the rules should have been perfectly clear to her and she was obliged (by her promise to marry) to say "no". I doubt that her cuckolded boyfriend feels good about this situation, but he seems to be making the right choice.
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Going through the various posts on the Fiero forum, I have just about decided that my next big project after the Escort engine swap will be rebuilding the Fiero's suspension.
The car never handled the way I thought it should. Some of that is due simply to the design--there is some bump steer from the rear suspension, which is not surprising considering that it's bascially the front end of a Chevy Citation.
But that's not all of it; the thing has always felt "loose" and recently I realized that the car is nearly 25 years old and has never had any suspension bushings replaced.
So I'm thinking:
1) Replace the engine cradle bushings with aluminum. The '88 cradles are solid-mounted, anyway, and it ought to be a largely invisible modification to my '85.
2) Replace all A-arm bushings with new ones. (Rubber, not poly; new rubber will be fine.)
3) Check all rod ends and ball joints for looseness; replace any that are bad
4) 4-wheel alignment
...of course, parts for this job will cost $$$, so I am probably engaging in a fantasy again. Oh well.