When General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, the Brits put an exclamation point on the improbable turn of events with a very special ditty. How do you highlight the fact that the most powerful military force in the world lost to a ragtag rabble? You have the musicians play 'The World Turned Upside Down'. It was, all things considered, a very appropriate musical accompaniment for British defeat in a war they quite bluntly couldn't/shouldn't lose.
The nation which the victorious ragtag rabble created - The United States of America - became a magnificent place which vastly exceeded all expectations. That America, a nation conceived in liberty, began as a land populated by rugged, self-reliant individuals. America started as a nation that spawned resolute men and women who took everything that objective reality could throw at them then came out stronger, and more determined to meet the next challenge with the same grim resolve. America was a nation whose ideals of individual liberty challenged the very best among us to pass muster. America - Americans - became the envy of the world because it was devoted to one singular ideal: inalienable individual liberty. That's the America we venerate, but it's not the America we inhabit in the 21st century. Somewhere along the line that rugged individualism, that exaltation of sovereign individuals exercising their inalienable rights, got perverted. While we weren't paying attention, those classic American values got inverted by the all powerful Nanny State.
The America I confront every morning isn't 'a little off', or 'a tad off kilter'. It's wrong, but it's more than simply wrong. In too damn many particulars, it's dead wrong. It seems like I'm trapped in America's mirror image, but in this case, the image is badly distorted, because it's a Fun House mirror.
'The World Turned Upside Down' should be dusted off and redeployed, because, no matter where I look, I see proof that the world is indeed turned upside down.
When I look around, here's what I find:
* I see that our shining beacon of inalienable individual liberty has turned into a shabby slum populated by parasites, whiners and snitches.
* I see a nation where dependency has replaced the self-reliance of rugged individuals as America's highest virtue.
* I see a Legislature [Congress] that doesn't want to legislate.
* I see journalists, so-called reporters, who don't want to report.
* I see an opposition party that doesn't want to oppose.
* I see a President who doesn't want to lead.
* I see a Defense Department that doesn't want to defend.
* I see schools staffed by educators who don't want to teach.
* I see an Attorney General of the USA - our top law enforcement officer - who refuses to enforce our laws.
* I see self described scientists who are transformed into lab coated hooligans when they refuse to be scientific.
* I see a grandiose plan to provide health insurance for a few million uninsured Americans that is so fatally flawed that 10 times that many insured Americans lose their coverage when it is implemented.
* I see a nation where asking individuals to prove their voter eligibility/identity with a valid, photo, ID before they're allowed to vote is 'intimidation', and/or discrimination. But, requiring a photo ID for the following mundane activities is neither intimidation nor discrimination: buy alcohol, buy cigarettes, open a bank account, apply for food stamps, apply for welfare, apply for Medicaid/Social Security, apply for unemployment or a job, rent/buy a house, apply for a mortgage, drive/buy/rent a car, get on an airplane, get married, purchase a gun, adopt a pet, rent a hotel room, apply for a hunting license, apply for a fishing license, buy a cell phone, visit a casino, pick up a prescription, hold a rally or protest, blood donations, buy an "M" rated video game, purchase nail polish at CVS, purchase certain cold medicines.
* I see a nation where an individual's gender is determined by some twisted, gender bending brain fart that's careening inside their noggin, instead of the plumbing they're packing.
* I see a nation where the National Security Agency makes every individual in the nation feel increasingly insecure, by listening to our phone calls, and reading everything we post in cyberspace.
* I see a nation where crud, not cream, rises to the top. Instead of representing our best and brightest, our chosen leaders are liars, looters, dunces, divas and scallywags.
* I see a nation where We The People are no longer sovereign because we have allowed ourselves to be relegated to mere subjects whose lives and property belong to the all powerful government.
If you need a second opinion on this matter, I've got it covered. Here are some pertinent excerpts from a Washington Times commentary dated July 3, 2013: 'From a Nation of Laws to a Nation of Men' by John Whitehead president of the Rutherford Institute.
We were once a society that valued individual liberty and privacy. Increasingly, however, we have morphed into a culture that has quietly accepted surveillance in virtually every area of our lives — police and drug-sniffing dogs in our children's schools, national databases that track our finances and activities, sneak-and-peek searches of our homes by government agents without our knowledge or consent and anti-terrorism laws that turn average Americans into suspected criminals. All the while, police officers dressed in black Darth Vader-like costumes have become armed militias, instead of the civilian peacekeepers they were intended to be.
The varied expressions of the government's growing power — the excessive use of tasers by police on nonthreatening individuals, allowing drones to take to the skies domestically for purposes of surveillance and control of free-speech protesters, the National Security Agency's monitoring of emails and phone calls, and on and on — which get more troubling by the day, are merely the outward manifestations of an inner, philosophical shift underway in how the government views not only the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but "we the people," as well. Mind you, in the face of the government's growing power, we are all lumped into the same category. We are all watched and, therefore, we're all suspects: potential nuisances and rabble rousers who must be surveilled, silenced and, if necessary, shut down.
Thus, whatever the issue might be, whether it's mass surveillance, no-knock raids, or the right to freely express one's views about the government, we've moved into a new age in which the rights of the citizenry are being treated as a secondary concern by the White House, Congress, the courts and their vast holding of employees, including law enforcement officials.
The disconnect, of course, is that the Constitution establishes a far different scenario in which government officials, including the police, are accountable to "we the people." For it to be otherwise, for government concerns to trump individual freedoms, with government officials routinely sidestepping the Constitution and reinterpreting the law to their own purposes, makes a mockery of everything this nation is supposed to stand for — self-government, justice and the rule of law.
So where does this leave us?
As a nation, we seem to have significantly passed from a nation of laws to a nation of men. Whereas we once abided by a rule of law — the U.S. Constitution — which guarded our freedoms and shielded us from government abuses, we have entered a phase in our nation's life where the government largely operates above the law, while the law has become little more than another tool for compliance and control.
Article II, Section I, Clause VIII specifies that each President begin their term in office by reciting this affirmation (oath): "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
It's challenging, but far from impossible to reconcile that oath with the antics perpetrated by Emperor Barry. I've come up with two possibilities. Perhaps Emperor B has a distinctly 'Italian' opinion of the oath, plus everything else found in Article II of the U.S. Constitution. In this instance, distinctly Italian denotes something a friend told me about driving in bella Italia: Italian drivers view road signs, traffic signals and speed limits as 'suggestions'. Apparently Barry has the same attitude about everything in Article II. To him, they're 'suggestions' passed along by the framers of our Constitution.
The other possibility isn't going to thrill you either. If you examine the Constitutionally mandated oath from Article II, Section I, Clause VIII, you stumble over what appear to be weasel words "to the best of my Ability". Maybe, pathetic as it is, what we've witnessed so far represents 'the best of his Ability'. Yup, as sorry as it is, that's as good as he gets.
While we're yammering about oaths taken by federal officials, we might as well take a peek at the one recited by bureaucrats, legislators, presidential appointees, along with most other federal employees.
"I (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
I don't see any obvious weasel words, but one phrase does grab my attention: enemies foreign and domestic. Under Obamunism, a foreign 'enemy' includes any nation giving slightly more than lip service to individual liberty. It's long term allies like Israel, J.O.E., Japan, South Korea and Australia. On the home front, 'domestic enemy' is a slam dunk. Domestic enemy number one is that killjoy who is supposed to be running things: We the People. We the People won't be allowed to reassert our control, a fun fact which explains why every federal agency is stockpiling ammo.
If you're a white on the right, you qualify for an enemies (domestic) designation.
If you belong to the TEA Party, you qualify for an enemies (domestic) designation.
If you're a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, you qualify for an enemies (domestic) designation.
If you donated money to Mexifornia's Prop 8 (marriage = one man + one woman), you qualify for an enemies (domestic) designation. [if you're really lucky, your employees will hound you into resigning as CEO].
If you espouse such regressive notions as defending our borders, you qualify for an enemies (domestic) designation.
If your name is Koch, you and your brother are number one, on the enemies (domestic) hit parade.
I don't have any ready answers for any of this, aside from the Constitutional one promoted by Levin. My only qualm about that is this: it will take some time to get there, and I'm not that sure we have that much time left. There aren't as many sovereign individuals as there were, in times past, but there are more than enough, and we're getting fed up with the way the Nanny State keeps screwing with us.
We don't need some Nanny State assholes telling us what kind of toilet we're allowed to buy.
We don't need some Nanny State assholes telling us what kind of lightbulb we're allowed to buy.
We don't need some Nanny State assholes solving non-existent problems with 'fixes' that royally fuck everything up.
We don't need some Nanny State assholes insulting our intelligence with junk science bullcrap like thirdhand smoke and secondhand television.
We don't need some Nanny State assholes squandering our stolen tax dollars on boondoggles like wind power, Solyndra, and high speed rail lines that nobody wants or needs.
What we want is what we've always wanted. We want you interfering Nanny State bastards to leave us the fuck alone. A properly Constitutional government gets 'er done. We the People are not going to take this shit forever. Sooner or later it's going to get ugly and if/when that moment arrives EVERYBODY loses.