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August 16, 2011

Blogging After America - Day Five
Chapter Four - Decline - American Idyll [ArthurK]

This chapter's theme is... ah, who cares. Steyn noted this blog on his web page Sunday!

I like what Steyn says in the big scheme of things but his mannerisms annoy me to no end," say STevo at Ace of Spades. We may have to get a body-double.

We may all be doomed, but I decree STevo gets to be doomed last!

Previously in the series - Day One, Two, Three, Four.



This chapter's theme is we're all Morlocks and Eloi.

Page 128 - Staffer to Obama - I can pick my own lunch. Obama to plump staffer, "I love you, man. Eat the salad."

P130 - The modern progressive's solution to social problems is to throw (somebody else's) money at it.

P131 - Among the elite, for non-politicals liberal positions are the default choice. That way they don't have to think about things like illegal immigration or gay marriage. They just say, "celebrate diversity".

P133-134 - Victor Davis Hanson: The Californian Eloi wants all the benefits of an advanced prosperous society while erecting a regime of regulated sentimentalism that will make its continuation impossible. They want air conditioning but not power plants and transmission lines. They want arugula but block irrigation to arugula farmers.

P136 - We live in a culture of pleasure - song, sports, movies.

P137 - A culture of pleasure can be very convenient for the govt. class.

P141 - "Barack Obama is a symptom rather than the problem. He didn't declare himself president; America chose him. That's what should worry you, ..."

P146 - President Eloi. The first president whose entire life was spent in a post-modern, post-American cultural relativism.

P147-148 - Obama is not weird. He's W.E.I.R.D. Western Educated Idle Rich Deadbeat.

"Obama is not just a product of his time but the product of his time."

P149 - "Education is the biggest single structural defect in the U.S." There follows eight pages of ghastly examples and explanations. (some of the best writing Steyn has done)

P157-160 - We're overdosing on self-esteem.

P163 - "For four decades America watched as politically correct fatuities swallowed the entire educational system, while conservatives deluded themselves that it was just a phase, something kids had to put up with as the price for getting a better job down the road. The idea that two generations could be soaked in this corrosive bilge and it would have no broader impact, that it could be contained within the precincts of academe, was always foolish."

P167 - "Major Hasan was the first mass murderer in U.S. history to give a PowerPoint presentation outlining the rationale for the crime he was about to commit. And he gave the presentation to a roomful of fellow army psychiatrists and doctors. Some of whom glanced queasily at their colleagues, but none of whom actually spoke up. And, when the question of whether then Captain Hasan was, in fact, 'psychotic,' the policy committee at Walter Reed Army Medical Center worried 'how would it look if we kick out one of the few Muslim residents.'"

"This is your brain on political correctness"

P170 - (ref the Army's reaction to Hasan's attack) "Anwar al-Awlaki and his comrades have bet that such a society is too sick to survive."

P171-172 - Political correctness is one aspect of infantilization. Govt. is treating people as kids for longer and longer periods. Obamacare has 26 year olds on their parent's insurance. "The western world lives increasingly in a state of deferred adulthood." 30 year old college students in D.C. are entitled to free condoms. Then they complained until they got better ones.

P183 - From Man to Eloi - Steyn gives 4 recent examples of first responders choosing not to rescue people because of regulations. And one where the rescuer saved the victim and was punished for breaking a reg.

P185-186 - 1911 1912, the Titanic. Woman and children first. 1994, the Estonia (ferry). "... law of the jungle." No female under 15 or over 65 lived. 5% of woman passengers survived. 43% of men aged 20-24 survived.

The time traveler contemplates the Eloi.


Very pleasant was their day, as pleasant as the day of the cattle in the field. Like the cattle, they knew of no enemies and provided against no needs. And their end was the same.

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