Cersei Lannister of Game of Thrones once said, "No matter who you are, no matter how strong you are, sooner or later, you'll face circumstances beyond your control."
Those coming of age today will face some of the greatest obstacles ever encountered by young people.
In addition to being overtaxed and underemployed, they will also be forced to march in lockstep with a government that no longer exists to serve the people but which demands they be obedient slaves or suffer the consequences.
We neglected to maintain our freedoms or provide our young people with the tools necessary to survive, let alone succeed, in modern America.
Unfortunately, we who should have known better failed to guard against such a future.
Worse, we neglected to maintain our freedoms or provide our young people with the tools necessary to survive, let alone succeed, in the impersonal jungle that is modern America.
Based on the current political climate, things could very well get much worse before they ever take a turn for the better. Here are a few pieces of advice that will hopefully help those coming of age today survive the perils of the journey that awaits:
We’re losing our freedoms for one simple reason: most of us don’t know anything about our freedoms. So grab a copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, study them, and stand up for your rights before it’s too late.
3. Speak Truth to Power
Don’t be naive about those in positions of authority. People in power, more often than not, abuse that power. To maintain our freedoms, this will mean challenging government officials whenever they exceed the bounds of their office.
4. Resist All Things That Numb You
Resist all things that numb you, put you to sleep, or help you “cope” with so-called reality. As George Orwell warned, “Until they become conscious, they will never rebel, and until after they rebelled, they cannot become conscious.” It is these conscious individuals who change the world for the better.
5. Don’t Let Technology Turn You into Zombies
Techno-gadgets are merely distractions from what’s really going on in America and around the world. If you’re going to make a difference in the world, you’re going to have to pull the earbuds out, turn off the cell phones, and spend much less time viewing screens.
6. Help Others
None of us can exist very long without help from others. If we’re going to see any positive change for freedom, then we must help one another. That will mean gaining the courage to stand up for the oppressed.
7. Give Voice to Moral Outrage
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” There is no shortage of issues on which to take a stand. Choose one and start making your voice heard.
8. Pitch in and Do Your Part to Make the World a Better Place
Don’t rely on someone else to do the heavy lifting for you. Don’t wait around for someone else to fix what ails you, your community or nation. As Gandhi urged: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Too many wars are fought almost as if by rote. Too many wars are fought out of sloganry, out of battle hymns, out of aged, musty appeals to patriotism that went out with knighthood and moats... do not accept the shedding of blood as a natural function or a prescribed way of history—even if history points this up by its repetition... find another means that does not come with the killing of your fellow-man.
10. Prepare Yourselves for What Lies Ahead
The demons of our age—some of whom disguise themselves as politicians—delight in fomenting violence, sowing distrust and prejudice, and persuading the public to support tyranny disguised as patriotism. Overcoming the evils of our age will require more than intellect and activism. It will require decency, morality, goodness, truth, and toughness. As Serling concluded in his remarks to the graduating class of 1968:
Toughness is the singular quality most required of you... we have left you a world far more botched than the one that was left to us... Part of your challenge is to seek out truth, to come up with a point of view not dictated to you by anyone, be he a congressman, even a minister... Are you tough enough to take the divisiveness of this land of ours, the fact that everything is polarized, black and white, this or that, absolutely right or absolutely wrong.
This is one of the challenges. Be prepared to seek out the middle ground ... If you must swing left or you must swing right—respect the other side. Honor the motives that come from the other side. Argue, debate, rebut—but don't close those wondrous minds of yours to opposition. In their eyes, you're the opposition. And ultimately ... ultimately—you end divisiveness by compromise. And so long as men walk and breathe—there must be compromise...
It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your political ideology is. If you have something to say, speak up. Get active, and if need be, pick up a picket sign and get in the streets. And when civil liberties are violated, don’t remain silent about it.
Wake up, stand up, and make your activism count for something more than politics.
An historical sequence of events exemplified by advances in the women’s liberation movement combined with demographic changes in the American population has led to an irreversible catastrophe of cataclysmic proportion in the U.S. and throughout the world.
Allow me to pen the historical steps that led to the present situation. Few women in the 1960s would guess that the women’s liberation movement would have such a profound effect upon geopolitical events in the world today.
1960s: the birth control pill gives women freedom to have sex without fear of pregnancy.
Abortions increase as more women participate in sex with multiple partners and even a small failure rate of contraception would result in many unplanned pregnancies.Against the State: An ...Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.Best Price: $5.00Buy New $5.00(as of 08:40 EDT - Details)
The number of silent undetected abortions (miscarriages) rise.
The birth rate dramatically falls to 1.7 today, below the replacement rate of 2.1; no nation has ever recovered from 1.7; more and more women delay having children to further their careers and some forego having children altogether.
Sexually transmitted diseases rapidly increase; in particular genital herpes.
1980s: pills with low doses of hormones are introduced which reduced side effects; in 1988 original high-dose pill is taken off the market. The first marketed pill, Enovid 10, contained 9.85 milligrams of the progestin norethynodrel and 150 micrograms of the estrogen mestranol. Today’s pills contain dramatically lower hormone doses—0.1 to 3.0 mg of modern progestins and 20 to 50 micrograms of estrogens.
Control of monthly periods now makes it possible for more women to enter work force and become independent (can buy their own jewelry, so what do they need men for?).
The Affordable Care Act requires all insurance plans to cover birth control without a co-pay. This saves women $1.4 billion in the cost of birth control pills in the first year of its inception. While advertised to avert pregnancy, a large percentage of women use the pill for menstrual regulation or other gynecological issues. Access to the birth control pill becomes a right guaranteed by law, a license to practice sex without consequences.
The recent decline in abortion rates is not due to women making moral choices. It is due to availability of no cost birth control. Provision of birth control to women at no cost substantially reduces unplanned pregnancies and cuts abortion rates by a range of 62 to 78 percent compared to the national rate.
For a percentage of women, The Pill may backfire and reduce testosterone levels and therefore desire (libido) and may result in vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex. The Pill may take away a woman’s sex life.
Among “divorce-proof” brides, virgins on their wedding day, who in 2010 comprised just 5 percent of new brides, only 6 percent of their marriages dissolve within five years, compared with 20 percentfor most people.
There is a baby boom among women ages 40 to 44 who had 114,730 of the 3.8 million babies born in 2017; women 45 and older had 9,325. Children of women who delay having children till they are in their 40s are going to face a new problem – – having to take care of their mother before they get their own lives started. Late in life mothers are known to lean on their children to get a job to support them instead of going on to higher education after high school graduation.
Bottom line, women seek control. One woman said: “The pill means I can have it all, and sacrifice nothing. It has taken the dream of my Mother’s generation — that of ‘Superwoman’ — and turned it into my reality.” — What The Pill Did – CNN It’s about THEM, not their husbands, nor their children who suffer the consequences of divorce and lack of fathers in their lives. A recent report notes that many women choose abortion over giving birth and allowing some loving family to adopt. They choose abortion rather than adoption because it is less “emotionally painful.” It’s not about the infant, it’s about THEM and their feelings.
Recently in the news is the story of a woman with five children who committed adultery, left her husband for another man because, as she said it, “after they married, he became rigid in his religion and demanding on her.Women are to be seen and not heard. I was merely to take care of the children. To keep them out of his way.” The traditional division of labor was not to be in this marriage. This mother was taken away by the family court and only allowed to see her children once every two weeks. Later when the father mentally flipped and killed his children (probably related to antidepressant drugs he may have been taking), she went into court weeping: “My babies, my babies, Oh God!” she cried in the courtroom. This absent mother called them “her” babies. She was elsewhere when her babies needed her most. The feminist news press gave her headline sympathy.
Now combine these changes in social practices and sexual liberation with these unprecedented changes in demographics.
The ratio of younger workers making FICA payments to # of retirees on SS & Medicare is in decline; in 1960, there were 5.1 workers per Social Security beneficiary; today there are just 9 workers per retiree.
Negative population is a problem that begs for more undocumented immigrants to enter the US and get jobs to make FICA payments into Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. Even President Donald Trump, who advocates a wall to block entry of undocumented immigrants on the U.S. southern border, had to bend his policy and concede the U.S. needs an influx of younger workers to pay for older retirees.
According to the census agency’sPopulation Clock, the U.S. is currently gaining one person every 16 seconds — in part because it’s adding one foreign migrant every 34 seconds.
Tell me where I am wrong here? What if those 60 million abortions over the past five decades became live births? The U.S. wouldn’t have to allow illegal immigrants across the border to bolster tax revenues to temporarily save Social Security and Medicare for retirees.
Western Europe is confronted with the same problems. Since approval of abortion in the UK in 1967 to 2014, 8,745,508 abortions have been performed, lower birth rates and fewer young workers have resulted. The U.K. and France have had to recruit young Arabic populations to bolster their work force to pay for the needs of retirees, but at the cost of inclusion of an immigrant population that has a different culture, does not value work, is often illiterate, that spends more time on a prayer rug than their jobs, that intermarries their cousins to retain wealth in their families at the cost of birth defects in their offspring. The clash of cultures is not going turning out to be good. What hath abortion wrought?
Was the sexual revolution worth it?
Attorney Joseph King of New York, author of “Awake, The Return of Men (2018), laments at the rise of the feminist agenda. King says women have historically been subservient to whomever was in power. This runs counter to the Constitutional government that was implanted in America where government was to be divided and minimized and considered a threat to freedom. Women have gained freedom but at a great price to their children and society.
He says in this age of feminism the reason given why there are fewer women in traditionally male dominated fields such as math and science is not because of biological differences but rather discriminative sexism.
He notes “since the feminist revolution, our culture has become increasingly feminized.” Women in government now argue over men being traditionally in charge, not substantive issues that demand attention. The purpose of government now is to elect more females, not deal with the pressing issues of the day.
King says women value feelings over truth. Nurturing females core principal is to protect those perceived to be weak, illegal immigrants, minorities, homosexuals, and of course, women. Therefore, there is a rise in the welfare state and erosion of the rule of law. Illegal immigrants are now undocumented migrants. King says women have traditionally built successful families but never a successful nation. The rise of the welfare state has come at the cost of undermining the traditional family.
The Free SocietyLaurence M. VanceBest Price: $39.90Buy New $19.95(as of 02:25 EDT - Details)American culture is changing. King cites a 2015 poll showing 60% of American women identify as feminists. King says these changes appear to be irreversible.
Your car looks like a box. So does every other car. It’s boring, even shocking when you consider how awesome cars used to look. What’s gone wrong? And to what extent has the design mess contributed to the decline of American auto manufacturing?
A recent letter to the Wall Street Journal comes close but misses the point. “Blame the Death of Design for U.S. Autos’ Decline” reads his headline. Speaking of Cadillacs and their declining sales, he writes: “The 1957 coupe looked like nothing else on wheels then, and it’s still stunning six decades later. The [new] XT6 and boxes of different sizes, identified with variations of letters and numbers, are the problem. A distinctive, prestigious and beautiful vehicle is the solution.”
This seems right. You drive around today and can barely distinguish one wheeled box from another. We look through websites at concept cars and wonder why they never seem to exist. And whatever happened to the Golden Age of design?
The problem with the letter is that it only scratches the surface. The real problem is more fundamental. Designers did not somehow lose imagination over the last 25 years. The designs of new cars are boring because regulations forced this result.
A few years back, I attended a wedding where the bride and groom ordered an antique car to leave for their honeymoon. It was a Studebaker, a 1940 Commander convertible. This car was still fabulous, after all these years. We stood in a parking lot packed with new models. No one cared about them. We were all obsessing about this old Studebaker. It is rightly named: It commands attention. The shape makes it a work of art. The hood looks like nothing made today. The red leather interior is luxurious.
We stood there in total admiration. We wondered about the gas mileage. It can’t be more than today’s gigantic “light trucks,” but we all agreed that paying more to drive something that cool would be worth it.
Yet it’s not a choice. No manufacturer can make a car like this anymore. Step back from the situation and think about it. In the 1930s, phones were awful, and you were lucky to have one at all. No one today would give up a smartphone for one of those old things. Same with shoes, computers, televisions, ovens, and so much more. No one wants to go back.
We Want Old!
With cars, it’s a different matter. Our sense of nostalgia is growing, not receding. But we don’t even have the choice to go back. There will be no more pretty cars made and sold in the United States. The government and its tens of thousands of micromanaging regulations on motor vehicles will not allow it.
The day before the wedding, I was at the grocery store and saw another amazing car, this one a tiny sports model with roll bars. It just took my breath away, too great not to elicit a sense of awe.
I asked the owner where he bought it, what model, what make, etc. This car challenged my impression that all new cars look the same. He said that he built it in his garage. He got the kit from Factory Five Racing.
“You have to build your own car in a garage because no maker is able to sell something like that?”
“You got it.”
The old expression goes “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” There’s only one problem: It should not be true in a developed economy. We should be able to take advantage of the division of labor. We shouldn’t have to build our own cars any more than we should have to weave our own clothes. But that is exactly where the regulations have taken us.
It hasn’t happened all at once. It’s been a bit at a time, taking place over four decades in the name of safety and the environment. The whole thing began in 1966 with creation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, followed by the Environmental Protection Agency and dozens of others. Every regulator wanted a piece of the car.
Each new regulation seems like it makes sense in some way. Who doesn’t want to be safer and who doesn’t want to save gas?
But these mandates are imposed without any real sense of the cost and benefits, and they come about without a thought as to what they do to the design of a car. And once the regs appear on the books, they never go away. They are stickier than code on a patented piece of software.
The Rise of the Boxes
As the years marched on, the homogenization process rolled forward, with each generation of cars looking ever more like each other. You can even trace the problem by looking through the history of the Mazda Miata: this slick two-seater roaster eventually became a shrunken version of all the other cars on the road: swollen nose, rear, and beltline.
Try as they might, manufacturers have a terrible time distinguishing their cars from each other’s. Car homogenization has become something of an Internet meme. It turns out that all new cars more or less look alike. I had begun to notice this over the years and I thought I was just imagining things. But people playing with Photoshop have found that you can mix and match car grills and make a BMW look just like a Kia and a Hyundai look just like a Honda. It’s all one car.
Truly, this cries out for explanation. So I was happy to see a video made by CNET that gives five reasons: mandates for big fronts to protect pedestrians, mandates that require low tops for fuel economy, a big rear to balance out the big fronts, tiny windows resulting from safety regulations that end up actually making the car less safe, and high belt lines due to the other regs. In other words, single-minded concern for testable “safety” and the environment has wrecked the entire car aesthetic.
And that’s only the beginning. Car and Driver puts this as plainly as can be: “In our hyperregulated modern world, the government dictates nearly every aspect of car design, from the size and color of the exterior lighting elements to how sharp the creases stamped into sheetmetal can be.”
You are welcome to read an engineer’s account of what it is like to design an American car. Nothing you think, much less dream, really matters. The regulations drive the whole process. He explains that the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards with hundreds of regulations — really a massive central plan — dictate every detail and have utterly ruined the look and feel of American cars.
There is no way out, so long as the regulatory state is in charge.
Never mind that safety and the environment create contradictory results. The more gas you save, the lighter the car and the more likely it is to kill you in a crash. Corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) regs have certainly killed many people. Similarly, the more safe it is, the more gas it uses, as a general principle. Meanwhile, the gas itself is being ruined with corn additives that shorten the life of the engine.
These regulations are responsible for the disappearance of the station wagon and the domination of the car market by huge vehicles that can be classified as trucks, which are regulated according to a different standard.
That’s right: Regulations designed to encourage fuel economy have done exactly the opposite by pushing people out of cars and into SUVs.
No one set out to wreck the diversity and beauty of our cars. But that is precisely what has happened, as the political and bureaucratic elites have asserted their own value systems over the values of both producers and consumers. They are the masters and we are the slaves, and we are to accept our lot in life.
Consider the point about pedestrians. How many lives has a high front end really saved? No one knows. But the regulation itself seems to rule out the possibility that drivers and pedestrians can work out problems for themselves, without regulatory intervention. In other words, we are being treated like children. Wait, not even that. We are being treated as if we have no brains at all.
Some 40 years ago, futurists imagined that cars of the future would be stunning and beautiful and would bring total joy to driving. Consider, for example, the 1978 Triumph that was said to be the “car of the future.” That future has been entirely wrecked.
Regulators made it the car of the past, a dashed dream that had to die to make way for the weird, homogenized stuff we are permitted to buy today.
Americans used to take pride in our cars and laugh at the horrible cars produced under socialism in, for example, East Germany. The Trabant will go down in history as one of the worst cars ever. But as we look back at it, at least you could see out the windows and at least the plan seemed to put the interests of the actual driver above Mother Nature and the nondrivers. The socialist central planners had a bit more sense than the American regulators.
In the end, if the goal is to protect the pedestrians, the driver under test conditions, and the Earth, you can do no better than mass transit and the bicycle — or just walking.
The car was the foundation of the second industrial revolution. Encroaching government has robbed it of its future. We once dreamed of a flying car. The regulators are putting us in the position of just dreaming about returning to the glory days of the 1970s. That’s just pathetic.
Maybe someday cars will be beautiful again, but not until the regulations are repealed and car makers are again given freedom to delight us.
Until then, we have to build our own or be rich enough to buy something entirely manufactured somewhere else only for the rich
Everyone bemoans the end of the American car industry. We will be talking about this for generations hence. There are many factors. But how many know that regulations contributed mightily to making this inevitable?