Death of a Nation

Mall of the Bluffs, Council Bluffs, Iowa

The 1915 film ‘Birth of a Nation’ has some interesting juxtapositions on my premise, the death of a nation. The film follows two families through the Civil War and reconstruction era, the Stonemans and the Camerons (the north and south respectively). Interwoven in the narrative are aspects of race relations I won’t pretend to understand. I just find it interesting that almost exactly 100 years ago our nation was in it’s ascendency, and today, America is clearly in it’s decline (its “deconstruction” era).

I traveled outside my cocoon recently to the Omaha/Council Bluffs area. Where I live, Ames is a protected enclave of people employed to a large degree in cushy Federal, State and City jobs. A town insulated for the most part from economic downturns and the minority strife afflicting other parts of Iowa and America. Seeing “the face” of those two cities was like a class reunion when you are either shocked or pleasantly surprised by the change (or lack thereof) of a classmate you haven’t seen for a few years.

And in this case, life has not been kind to Omaha/Council Bluffs. Not that they are particularly worse off than any other metropolitan area, its just the one I have seen off and on since 1972. The aging process of 45 years is rather scary. Cities are no different than people, aging can be scary or graceful, depending on circumstances. Ames with a bunch of overpaid government nitwits, wastes more money per capita than our western neighbors ever see, they have to stretch every dime.

The picture used for this post, Mall of the Bluffs, is a good example. Last year we stopped there to explore the shopping experience of a place we had seen and driven by for nearly half a century, but had never stopped for. There’s nothing there but a drivers license station! It’s dead, a “ghost town”. You are confronted by shuttered store fronts and dust rings on the wall from store name signs long ago taken down. You half expect to see a tumbleweed come blowing down the hall.

The Old Market area of Omaha across the river is headed in the same direction. You get there by going up the 13th Street Exit off of I-80, oy. Its a depressing drive up 13th Street in this barren post apocalyptic landscape (Seeing the classmate after decades, “Oh you look great!”. When you’re really thinking, “Whoa! Did you get the license plate of the truck that ran over your face?”) Oh sure, they were talking about “urban blight” 50 years ago, but that’s Detroit dammit, not Iowa!

The same can be seen driving across Iowa if you get off the highway bypass and travel down main street of small town Iowa. Your town square that was at onetime a bustling center of banks, insurance companies, cafes and retail shops, now houses “check cashing” operations and pawn shops, if anything at all. The Old Market district that once housed upscale antique shops and restaurants, now is populated by thrift stores and greasy spoons. This death of a nation was not caused by one blow of course, its a death by a thousand cuts.

The laundry list is extensive. Farms are not owner operated anymore, they are sharecropper operations, and guess what? Rural rentals are no different then urban ones, you know in an instant when you drive down a residential neighborhood which ones the rentals are, and which ones the owner lives in. Then small towns were devastated by school consolidation. The Federal Government  paid districts an extra $500 per student (which was a lot in 1965) if they consolidated the schools of neighboring towns.

This consolidation was not only detrimental to the students (large class sizes, within 20 years administrators were hollering about smaller class sizes), it took away accountability with the removal of local control. Schools were the “anchor stores” of a lot of small towns and the good paying teacher jobs and support staff that went with it. NAFTA and other trade deals that shipped jobs overseas was another cut. Iowans with some age recognize these names from long gone manufacturers, Western, Rayovac, Ertl, Maytag, Amana, Lennox, Fawn and hundreds of others!

You can’t take away 10’s of thousands of good paying manufacturing jobs from 1 state over the past 50 years and not experience a deadly decline. Its a lot easier for a family to be respectable at $25 bucks an hour than it is at $7.25 an hour. Families fall apart, further destroying the social fabric. Desperation sets in, people play the lottery. Gambling expands, more bankruptcies, more divorce. Taxes are raised to care for more and more government induced dysfunction.

Government corruption puts another nail in the coffin. Companies paid Congress to look the other way for 50 years when it came to controlling the southern border. Corporate America wanted to take advantage of cheap labor for the jobs they couldn’t ship to Mexico (if Mexicans don’t get the job in Mexico, they’ll get the job in Iowa).

Basically everything I listed was Donald Trump’s campaign platform, which explains why he won. Americans know what’s going on, even if they couldn’t always explain it. The government and their sycophants in the media can try and tell us how smart they are and how great their policies are, but we know its bullshit. We can see with our own eyes. We can see what’s happening on main street and in our own neighborhoods.

The last nail in the coffin may be the biggest. Healthcare. Workers and their employers now combine over $10,000 a year to pay for “insurance”. Which is a lie of course, we are simply prepaying our medical costs. Insurance is for a catastrophic occurrence that doesn’t usually occur. That’s not what insurance has become. People get sick. Its going to happen. Does your car insurance pay for oil changes? Of course not! Do you bill your home insurance to get your lawn mowed or your house painted? Of course not! But we expect our health insurance to pay for every doctor visit and run of the mill prescription.

The Affordable Care Act did nothing to alleviate the problem, only aggravate it. As Bill Clinton put it while campaigning for Hillary, “Premiums have doubled while benefits were cut in half!”  Its simply not sustainable to pay $700 a month premiums while having to satisfy a $5,000 dollar deductible. Your into it for $12,000 dollars each year before it would start to pay off! How’s that work on 30K a year? Take home is less than that. Food, clothing and shelter become luxuries. The doctor couldn’t charge outlandish prices when the customer was literally writing the check at the front desk.

Market forces won’t control prices when there is no market. In normal business the seller can’t charge more than the buyer can afford. Pre 1965 we had a market. It was before Medicare and Medicaid and widespread employer provided insurance. People paid cash for doctor visits and their hospital stays. A semiprivate hospital room in 1962 was comparable to the cost of a hotel room. What insurance there was, was truly for the exception not the routine.

All that changed after 1965 and LBJ’s Great Society. Health related costs began to go through the roof of course as the bottomless wallet of Uncle Sam began to pick up more and more of the tab. As P.J. O’Rourke said, “If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it’s free.” People have forgotten the most basic economic principles. That’s the price of government education, it has made everybody stupid.

Jim Roach

This photo is typical of the Council Bluffs experience. While looked at from a ways back it is an attractive and colorful bridge scene. We followed the car ahead of us out of town on old US Highway 6. The old town district. Liquor stores, consignment shops and dilapidated old stores. The car ahead if you blow up the picture has its entire rear window busted out. From the side and front it is clearly a “beater” who only through some miracle is still moving down the road under its own steam. The mall example used in the title is a really good barometer of a community’s health. Malls are the new main street. They reflect how extensive the rot is in a town. I remember during the 2008 residential housing bubble collapse, one smart economist predicted the collapse of the commercial property bubble within 2 years. He was right. Des Moines is the perfect example. The declines in Southridge Mall, Merle Hay Mall and even the warning signs at Valley West Mall are truly scary. Des Moines’ crown jewel, Jordan Creek, isn’t as shiny as it should be when looked at closely.

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We lost our way

“We should never define libertarian positions in terms coined by liberals and conservatives, nor as some variant of their positions. We are not fiscally conservative and socially liberal. We are libertarians, who believe in individual liberty and personal responsibility on all issues at all times.”

— Harry Browne

[Our Founding Fathers produced a document that was the epitome of Libertarian thought, the Constitution. In a mere 228 years, knowledge of our roots has been largely forgotten. It was known as Natural Law. The idea that you have the right to life, liberty and property. Not given to you by the government, but protected by that government. The idea that your liberty stops where mine begins. Other than that, you’re free to do as you please. The consequences, for good or ill, belonging to you. Their idea was that we would most definitely not be a democracy, mob rule, a government only limited by what could be achieved by a 51% vote. We would be a republic, a government limited by an agreed upon “rule book”, the Constitution. Notice it wasn’t the People who were limited, it was the government (ergo the 9th and 10th amendments). You see how that works? We weren’t setup to bail others out from their bad choices, be it individual or corporate. Once you go down that road its a never-ending job. We now even bail out other countries! We also now have the Supreme Court routinely deciding whether a “citizen” will be “allowed” to do this or that. Its preposterous! All this was predicted by the framers if we veered off the path of freedom. Human nature is the same now as it was 4,000 years ago. And that is just one of the many things we have forgotten. Thanks to being dumbed down by a very expensive government education system. We miss you Harry Browne. – Jim Roach]

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It’s here… ‘The Deep State: 50 year old recording explains why the world is going crazy’

It’s all here. Every bit of it. Lucky for them, people are too stupid to see what is in front of their face. At the bottom of it are the tax free foundations so that the super wealthy can preserve their riches, and it is only you and I that get taxed into oblivion. It also explains their insane hatred of Trump.

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“The shooter had clearly been radicalized”

Rush made a really good point today about the shooter at the GOP Congressional baseball practice. After months and months of spewing the most irrational hatred and lies about President Trump, one of those nuts on the Left that was about to snap, did. Rush pointed out that “the shooter had clearly become radicalized”. Rush predicted it the day before, Paul Joseph Watson predicted it 6 months ago, it was fairly easy to see.

A lot of Democrats are peaceful people. They look just like you or me. But there is that segment of violent, rioting thugs that are completely lawless. These liberal terrorists get radicalized somewhere along the line, often on the internet. Sometimes its from that steady diet of insane ramblings they hear on the ultra-liberal CNN and MSNBC.

You take people who are wound pretty tight to begin with, feed them a steady diet of fake news, and lookout! Its a disaster waiting to happen. Sure, the majority of Democrats go about their lives and practice their politics without incident, but we have to admit there is something in that party that after every little thing that doesn’t go their way, they are out in the streets rioting. Assaulting people, burning buildings, breaking windows.

They wished to disrupt a pro Trump rally in Portland and were caught on top of buildings with bags of bricks! That would kill a person to get hit in the head with a brick thrown from the top of a building. You see Democrat terrorists running down the streets dressed all in black with mask, wielding 6 foot poles, beating on people and cops. Promoting violent resistance.

All this is fed by those degenerates in Hollywood depicting and advocating violence against President Trump. Kathy Griffin lopping heads, Madonna urging the bombing of the White House, Saturday Night Live and their years long obsession of stopping Trump at all costs. Its no wonder a lot of those loons already close to the edge, go over the edge. The Left has created this climate of hatred that threw out the idea, that at the end of the day we are all Americans.

They have instituted the era of the hyphenated “American”. Equal this, trans that, my home country is where my loyalty lies, not the new country where I actually stand a chance! Patriotism is foreign to this bunch. They ban the American flag from neighborhoods and high school student pickup trucks. They have created a climate where people actually contemplate violence against babies, and do abort them at the rate of 910 a day, 38 per hour, 1 every 95 seconds.

When a society doesn’t even think twice about killing the most precious and defenseless among us, what would possibly hold someone back from wanting to kill a “hated” Congressman?

Life has become cheap to the left.

Jim Roach

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Rick Gaber

” ‘Extremism’ is a word deliberately chosen for its vagueness and used by intellectual slobs who are too desperate, sneaky or lazy to say exactly what they mean. Its only purpose is to deliberately try to confuse the difference between people who are extremely good (usually because of devotion to their principles) with people who are extremely bad. The sleazeballs who use this supposedly scary, yet undefined word are not only trying to smear people of conviction and integrity, but they’re also trying to divert attention away from the fact that they are obviously not people of principle themselves.”

— Rick Gaber
Libertarian writer

[This quote has so many aspects to it. It carries the same message Thomas Sowell did in his 1995 book, ‘The Vision of the Anointed’. Both Gaber and Sowell understand that the Left (more so than the Right) can’t win the political debate on the merits, so they do so by controlling the language. As an example, your opponent can’t win in the firearms debate, if the advocate for the right to keep and bear arms can be labeled an “extremist”. He is taken out before the argument begins. The Left has even made the killing of babies appear to be virtuous. Anyone who has the audacity to want babies to live is labeled “anti-choice”, not pro-life. An extremist. Its an amazing thing. – Jim Roach]

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Your government at work…

“You want to know what this was really all about? The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

— John Ehrlichman
(1925-1999) Counsel and Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs under President Richard Nixon. Source: 1994 interview with Dan Baum,

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“I’ve come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land”

“As I have stood in the crosshairs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I’ve realized that firearms are not the only issue. No, it’s much, much bigger than that. I’ve come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor, certain acceptable thoughts and speech are mandated.”

— Charlton Heston

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I don’t think so, Bernie

Trump supporter in San Jose attacked by vile Democrats

The other day on Twitter the topic was the likely Democrat candidates for president in 2020. One who almost toppled the old warhorse Hillary was Bernie Sanders. I was with him from the beginning as evidenced by the post on this site of a 4th of July parade in Norwalk, Iowa in 2015. Anyone with half a brain knew “the system” in this country had to be ‘nuked’ and the only 2 with half a chance to do that were Sanders and Trump.

I knocked on doors, gave money and caucused for Bernie. I was equally behind Trump, so when I got the chance to vote for him in the general, I did so 1,000%. I’ll never forget his inaugural address January 20. Aye, twas a glorious day. Trump slew the Establishment Dragon and threw it to the ground from the castle walls. That was the goal, putting the American government back into the hands of the American people.

The election was over but Americans did not gel and all hands were not onboard to make America great again. Immediately violent protests started across the country as crazed Democrats assaulted people and burned and destroyed cities as they threw their national temper tantrum. Conservatives could not speak at college campuses, Trump supporters couldn’t wear their red MAGA hat without being beaten, free speech was gone.

The photo above is well known to any Trump supporter who is even slightly politically aware. But for someone who only watches the mainstream liberal media, they’ve probably never seen it. The biased media ignored the thousands of assaults across the nation by Democrats against Trump supporters and instead focused on 1 assault of a black man by a hillbilly at a Trump rally. Or they are focused on unsubstantiated “reports” as news stories (fake news). The media just never seemed to quite come up with the video of wrongdoing by Trump supporters, but they did come up with baseless allegations ad nauseam.

Rachel Casey above being pummeled and pelted with eggs was simply the most graphic image of Democrats assaulting decent Americans. Video exists of all manner of violent attacks on Trump supporters and their property from the Democrat rioters. These weren’t “demonstrations” as alleged by the bastards in the media, these were riots.

The vile behavior of Democrats came to a head yesterday when a photo shoot of scum Kathy Griffin beheading a Donald Trump mannequin was released. This was in stark contrast to the reaction when a small town rodeo clown wore an Obama mask years ago and was fired. A rodeo clown!

The mainstream liberal media tee hee’s and laughs at all the disgusting behavior of Democrats and in fact encourages it with all the coverage. This descent into abdominal behavior the past 3 years since the process began, has shown me what Democrats are all about. They are not Americans nor do they put America first. They have some strange mission to bring down everything that America stands for.

Democrats have some sort of depraved mindset that is bent on destroying everything that is decent and good.

They can do it without me. It had been 25 years since I had voted for a Democrat and until Bernie Sanders and his pro working man agenda came along, there was certainly no reason to. Now though even Bernie has shown he has no intention of working with Trump for the good of the country and for the good of the working people he uses as props. Much of their agenda is a shared one. But in the end, Bernie can’t put the people first.

Well screw you Sanders and the Democrat Party. There was a lot of crossover conservatives at that 4th of July parade, several were interviewed by the Register. And I bet they’re just like me,  I bet they’ve been repulsed by the violence and un-American behavior of the Democrats. Instead I shall maintain my independent status by voting Libertarian and the occasional Republican. Democrats have shown their true colors and I want no part of it. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Bernie reaps what he has sown in 2020. You don’t know who your base was Bernie. In the 7 months since the election we’ve seen your vision of America, and we don’t like it.

Jim Roach

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“… imaging the two of us shouting naked at the rain”

Katie Hopkins

Hopkins supported the then candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump, in the Daily Mail during December 2015:

“I hear cries that he is a blithering idiot. I have often been called a deranged fool. But if this were true you could ignore me, ignore us, imaging the two of us shouting naked at the rain. It’s because we articulate sentiments repressed by the politically correct consensus that we have a voice.  – Wikipedia

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The war against our constitution

aaa founding-fathers

“I want to make one thing clear. This war against our constitution is not being fought way off in Madagascar or in Mandalay. It is being fought here—in our schools, our colleges, our churches, our women’s clubs. It is being fought with our money, channeled through the State Department. It is being fought twenty-four hours a day—while we remain asleep. How many of you Senators know what the UN is doing to change the teaching of the children in your own home town? The UN is at work there, every day and night, changing the teachers, changing the teaching materials, changing the very words and tones—changing all the essential ideas which we imagine our schools are teaching to our young folks. How in the name of Heaven are we to sit here, approve these programs, appropriate our own people’s money—for such outrageous “orientation” of our own children, and of the men and women who teach our children, in this Nation’s schools?”

— William Jenner
(1908-1985) U.S. Senator (IN-R)
Source: Congressional Record (1952)

[You can add Congress to the list of those waging war against the Constitution. The very body that should know it and be promoting it most, is simply interested in enriching themselves. The other irony was that small group that recognized the danger of the UN’s Agenda 21 some 20 years ago, when the danger to U.S. sovereignty has been since the UN’s inception, 1947. – Jim Roach]

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