1. "Our minimal government was the reason we were able to become the "arsenal of Democracy," and pull Europe's nuts out of the fire -- twice. Since then we've been moving our government more and more toward the European style. Eventually, and it may not be too far down the road, the U.S. is going to be so catastrophically broke that it won't any longer be willing to spend the blood and treasure it costs us to keep on providing defense for Europe and the more or less free parts of Asia. At that point, either Europe's socialism will collapse under the expense and discomfort of providing for its own defense, or it will be conquered by those who are willing to raise their children as warriors. It I had to bet, I'd bet on the latter."
Reply 1. As far as I am aware, getting those nuts pulled out of the fire took one hell of a lot of British persuasion and some pretty heavy shylocking, so to speak. However, I do believe that Maggie Thatcher paid the last bit off during her reign. For my part, I am grateful for all the help! I rather even a socialist UK than one under the jackboot. I think.
Regarding the spending of that treasure, didn't it help fuel the entire war machine, from aircraft, ships to munitions? Some say it was boom-time for the US. Deaths? Since when did any governments care about figures on any side? Witness Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The returning body-bags never stopped anything - it was all masked with memorials and fine speeches about glory and honour; feel proud to die for nothing.
2. "I'm not going to knock Obama. He's my president too, and what I think of him has nothing to do with this discussion, but your idea that people "die on the corner of Sunset and Vine because [they] can't afford private health" is a straw man with the straw blowing away in the wind. There's a hell of a lot of difference between health care and health insurance. Ever since WW II what we've had isn't health insurance; it's prepaid health care. If we were allowed by our governments (and there are a lot of them, starting with the feds, and going all the way down to city councils and even homeowners' associations) to actually buy insurance -- meaning a hedge against catastrophic illness -- and pay out of pocket for hangnails and colonoscopies, that kind of straw man would blow away completely."
Reply 2. I love the straw man blowing away in the wind: reminds me of Dylan so it can't be bad! But I think between war and dying we have had more than one straw man doing his thing tonight.
3. "There's an ongoing disagreement about whether or not this statement originated with a Scot named Alexander Tytler, but the statement itself seems to be proving itself correct:
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
"Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage." "
Reply 3. There is no doubt that all politicians know this: they are even thinking (in the UK) of lowering the voting age to sixteen! Imagine, a culture of sixteen-year-olds, many totally illiterate and unschooled in anything but street violence, suddenly finding they are offered the vote! Like all sub-cultures, they will vote eternally for any party that provides them with free, tender loving care and glue. Why else are some political parties so willing to tollerate unlimited immigration if not to broaded the lowest common denominator of voter base permanently in their favour? Harsh but true. And anyone who dares voice that can well face lawsuits in Britain.
The British National Health System is mistaken for a free one. No such deal. It is financed from taxation and probably costs more than it should because of the layer upon layer of administrative lead resting upon its shoulders. It isn't even financed evenly: when I was still working I paid a standard contribution added to another self-employed penalty - sorry, contribution - of 8% of my earnings... Interesting system. But at least you can get help if you need it, sometimes in time.