Notes: Sunshine, Flower Power . . . and Torture

By Ronald Glenn
America’s Right

Notes From the Conservative Underground is an ongoing section here at America’s Right, featuring the written manifestation of Ron Glenn’s observations on the conservative movement, gleaned from sources found everywhere between short-wave radio to mainstream commentary, between random discourse with concerned everyday Americans to planned discussions with people and officials plugged into grassroots organizations nationwide.

You Are My Sunshine

I have not reported on the current opinions concerning the economy for a while, since I have nothing to add to the relatively stagnant economic news found on the Internet. However, it is worthwhile to look at how public opinion is taking shape, and what effect this may have on the future. To do this, I will use two conversations with two fellow commuters to illustrate what I believe is the yin and yang of America’s current economic outlook.

One man I spoke with over the course of several rail commutes I will call “Mr. Sunshine.”
His favorite expression is, “It’s all good.” He thinks that the people in America who are unemployed and have lost their homes must accept that their failures are their own, not America’s. He is not unemployed, and not currently in danger of losing his home. He thinks the American system works exactly the way it should. Bad boys and girls punished, good boys and girls rewarded.

This attitude allows Mr. Sunshine to pardon any and all behavior by his government. Since he blames those at the bottom for their failures, he has no reason to blame the Federal Reserve, Larry Summers, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, or the former administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Most importantly, President Obama is as innocent as a newborn. He only wants what is good for America, he thinks. Why would he work so hard to do us harm?

Mr. Sunshine sees no corruption at the top. He does not care about the federal deficit. He sees only weakness and whining from those who have lost. Mr. Sunshine is moving forward along with millions of others like him, marching arm in arm to a greater future.

Another commuter I spoke with only days later related an entirely different attitude. For more than 25 years now, he has worked for an international corporation, an organization that always seemed to have “a strong sense of give and take.” If you gave your best to them, they were good to you. And so on. A couple months ago, though, his company hired a “hatchet man” as its new CEO, whose job it was to tear the company apart.

“He’ll start with mass layoffs,” the man explained. “Then he will go after the pensions, and then he’ll go after the medical plans. When it is all over, he‘ll have all the money and employees like myself won‘t have any to speak of.”

To top it off, his wife has a serious medical condition that will not permit her to work. If he loses his job, he does not know how he could possibly take care of her. Government doesn’t care, and doesn’t have his best interests at heart. Corruption is rampant. He is certain, furthermore, that none of those at the top of the government will be prosecuted for wrongdoing, even though they should be.

His final comment to me the other morning was: “All my personal experience contradicts everything this administration is telling us about the recovering economy. People can only listen to nonsense before it begins to make them really angry.”

In a macro-economic context, these two stories represent the attitudes American businesspeople have about the business cycles, currently referred to as “bubbles.” Decades ago, business cycles were considered a normal part of American business. In simplest form, business cycles go like this: A business is successful and begins to expand. Its workers want to share in the success, so wages go up. Prices are also increased. Eventually, the business is over-expanded, has too much debt, and must contract. There is a short recession, the dead wood in the business world is cut out, and the cycle begins again. (This normally takes five to ten years.)

Mr. Sunshine thinks this is American capitalism as it should be. Recessions, which occur at the end of the cycles, get rid of all the failing companies. He thinks business cycles cleanse the free market of weak companies that should be gotten rid of.

The other man, whom I will call “Mr. Bleak,” does not believe the cycle we’re seeing in 2009 is natural. The real estate crash was an artificial bubble created by the likes of Goldman Sachs, who controlled it in such a way that there were immense profits made. The current economy is highly unnatural, running its unnatural course under the control of the American government in collusion with the Federal Reserve. All we are doing is preparing for another bubble created by government spending.

These two points of view may account in part for the polls showing the public is 50/50 when it comes to its opinion of President Obama’s handling of the economy. The ultimate decision about Obama may turn on whether the solutions to the economic problems are “natural” or “unnatural.” When Obama says he didn’t really want to take over General Motors, do you believe him? When he says his medical plan is necessary for the economic well-being of America, do you believe him? Are these remedies part of the natural business cycle?

Mr. Sunshine says “it is all good.” What do you think?

Mr. Bleak has not been on the train for over a week. I pray he is on vacation, and that I will see him soon.
 
Torture You, Torture Me

The question of torture will not go away, especially since the Obama administration is still talking about investigating the intelligence agencies. Stepping back and looking at the big picture, I would like to provide a slightly different angle to this than I have seen discussed in most commentaries addressing the issue.

Most arguments center around the question as to whether torture should be used as a tool to fight international terrorism. That approach misses the issue from a historical perspective. In the twentieth century, the regimes that used torture regularly were not interested in obtaining justice; they were actually interested in obtaining FALSE confessions. For instance, when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, Stalin’s secret police went crazy and began rounding up army officers and beating them in an attempt to make these men admit they were at fault for the invasion. As the head of Communist Russia, Stalin could not admit he was at fault. Therefore, he removed any blame by arresting and torturing people to death.

All too often, confessions provide bad evidence. Beria, one of the heads of the Soviet secret police under Stalin, supposedly said, “Give me a man for an evening and I will make him confess he is the King of England.” Why would he want to make someone confess to such a thing? Answer: Because he does not care about truth. He cares about making people say what he wants them to say.

America’s founding fathers understood there was a European legacy that had given torture a bad name in the name of justice. Think of the thousands of women who had confessed to witchcraft under the most heinous inducements of pain men could concoct. Beware of anyone who says torture has always been strictly about obtaining the truth.

Woodstock Revisited

There has been the usual blather from geriatric 1960’s egomaniacs about the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival during which, of course, hundreds of thousands of naked people danced for days to some of the most popular bands of the day, slept in mud, had casual sex, and took drugs. This all happened less than a month after Americans set foot on the moon, but in the 40th anniversary of both events, we see where four decades of revisionist history has gotten us. Priorities matter, I guess.

I was not old enough to attend Woodstock, but I do remember the endless talk about it, and everybody seemed to leave out venereal disease, LSD brain restructuring, and New Age Communism. Instead, the press continuously seemed to discuss the spontaneous atmosphere of Woodstock. It was a “happening” that showed there were forces at work in society that could not be held back.

Strangely, in retrospect, it sounded a lot like the peasant revolts in Europe in the Middle Ages. Then, repressed ignorant masses grabbed pitchforks to storm castles; in August 1969, repressed educated masses in America grabbed bags of opiates and fornicated.

I think it is fascinating, however, that the spontaneous public gathering is on its way to extinction. The drug heads of Woodstock have awakened to find out there is political danger if people get together and have disagreements. It is possible someone might do something as disagreeable as raise his voice or mention the Constitution. The average public “meeting” now is considered an orchestrated spectacle created by public relations experts.

We’ve seen this sort of attitude during recent town hall meetings, but in my opinion the best example of this is the modern political convention held every four years to choose each party’s candidates for president of the United States. Love is everywhere. No greater sins could be committed than to fight against the mob on national television. My father told me the 1952 Republican Convention was so hostile a man booed through the benediction.

Unfortunately, people who show spontaneous feelings in 2009 are ridiculed as ravings morons, or even racist Nazi sympathizers. It is obvious that the leftist Woodstock attendees who moved on to run America quit taking LSD. Instead, they put on suits and handed out valium to the masses. Don’t get angry. It is a socialist love-fest. The government intends to pay for all your opiates for as long as they choose.

Peace, baby. Peace.

—————
Ronald Glenn has worked in real estate and law for more than twenty years. He now works in Philadelphia, and lives outside the city with his wife. Ron has been writing for America’s Right since January 2009.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting, Ron. I had a bit of trouble following the first part, but I guess I'm just too wrapped up in partisantalk.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Check it out…off topic but….

    Looks like the fight is on!

    http://riseupforamerica.com/crimeofthecentury.html

  3. Kevin J says:

    Terrific stuff. Really enjoyed the analogy of Woodstock and our lefty politicians ruinIng the country. BTW, is this a typo "Obama says he did really want to take over General Motors, do you believe him?". Shouldn't it be "didn't"

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  5. goddessdivine says:

    Fun piece.

    My father who has worked in commercial real estate and investment banking for 40 years (still going strong at 65, when most his age have retired…..) always talks about cycles and how it's a normal function with how the marketplace works. And as someone who grew up with a father in that line of business, I've seen the ups and downs this can have on someone's financial stability. Having said that, he says this is the worst he's ever seen it…..mainly because the govt is getting its grubby hands all over it–from bad loans to bailouts to takeovers to corrupt individuals.

    Re torture: It's necessary to retrieve pertinent information. The three individuals (you'd think it were 3,000 thanks to the media) that were 'tortured' gave up essential info that saved lives. The whole definition of torture is the problem. Waterboarding an individual with a doctor present (and no one actually dying from this) is not torture. Cutting off or crushing limbs is. Beheading is.

    Woodstock: Worst thing to come out of the 60s. Give. Me. A. Break.

  6. Gail B says:

    Ronald, nice writeup. I understood both points of view (after reading emails ad nauseum from the Obot classmate about the wonderful things that our great leader plans whose identity no one can prove) and observing the businesses and mall shops and chains closing one after the other.

    Question–have you heard anything more about the $134.5 million (billion?) that was in a car on its way to Mexico, the $134.5 million (billion?) in government bearer bonds discovered in the false bottom of the suitcase at the Italian/Swiss border, and the $134 million in the news recently? (I can't remember what that was about.)

    The reason I ask is that I read someone's comment to an article that said he believed there was a heist being made on the U.S. Treasury.

  7. Gail B says:

    Glad I wasn't sleepy! Just discovered this:

    http://www.resistnet.com has a drive for recall of socialist legislators.

    Zip over to the site, join/sign up, click on States at the top to select yours, and follow the leader!

    Those who can research voting history and other volunteers are needed. It's all spelled out. We can get those Commies out of office and back home, where they cannot damage our Constitution anymore.

  8. D.C. BUS INFO says:

    Someone wanted information about a bus to D.C. for the march on Washington.

    CHARTER BUSES – THE NATIONAL BUS DATABASE- READ THE INSTRUCTIONS AND THEN POST YOUR INFORMATION…." on Patriotic Resistance

    The website is http://www.resistnet.com

    Email address is share@resistnet.com

    Hope that helps.
    Gail

  9. WUDSTOKKE says:

    Nothing more endearing than a hug over your urinal. I scoured that photo for Stanley Ann Dunham and Malcolm X, anybody find em?

  10. OH FOR SOLOMONS WISDOM :D says:

    FORK UNION, Va. – By his ninth town hall meeting this week — in a sweltering Virginia middle school auditorium — freshman Rep. Tom Perriello is no longer fazed by angry crowds mobilized for and against health care reform.

    He and other backbencher Democrats thrown into the front lines of the debate are caught in a crossfire between their congressional leaders to the left and conservative constituents to the right. These newcomers hold clout that could determine if health care legislation passes — and in what form.

    Perriello won by just 727 votes last year, and with re-election looming in just 15 months, he has no choice but face critics in town hall meetings around his rural swing district in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As his car rolled into an overflowing parking lot, he was greeted by protesters on both sides of the debate: "Public Option or No Re-Election," read one sign. Another declared, "No Obama Care."

    "I certainly catch it from both sides," Perriello said.

  11. SCREW FLOWER POWER, PEOPLE POWER! says:

    The summer has proven to be a resurgence for conservative political organizing after a lackluster performance during the 2008 election. Activists have flooded the Internet with rally plans, talking points and YouTube videos. Now they're planning a massive march on Washington next month.

    Many are political rookies awakened by the Obama presidency, and in particular the health care debate.

    "I always thought protests were kind of ignorant, thinking, 'What are these guys accomplishing?'" said Rick Smith, 38, a self-employed store owner who recently began attending rallies and picketed Hagan's office. He's now helping to spearhead protests of his own and is hoping to take his family to Capitol Hill next month.
    "I hope the freshmen have their eyes open to what's going on out here — to see that they need to represent the people that put them in office," he said.

    verification word: crologin
    Is THIS what Nancy's face is crammed with?

  12. LOBBY FOR BOBBY says:

    Jeff, don't forget a nice write-up on Bobby Hughes in your contributors bios. Thanks for 'hiring' him, he seems to have the gift of writing. Me, just wisecracking and venting anger.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ron-
    Well said and thanks for the smile this am! Hippies Stink!

  14. DEJA VIEW says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_X

    That first picture here reminds me of somebody, just can't put my finger on it. Somebody help me.

  15. Still a Patriot says:

    Hi Ron -

    I always enjoy your perspectives & common sense. To answer your questions, I don't believe a word that comes out of the imposter's mouth. He lies daily, yet some people still listen & believe.

    Please let us know if you see Mr. Bleak & how he is doing.

    Susan

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the article. I suffered through Woodstock even though I never attended it. This was just pure and simple "free love and drugs" and it spread from their out to the rest of the population. It was not a pleasant time for Americans and many who participated in the music of that day perished from the drugs that enslaved them. It also altered the tenor of this country making experimentation a must including embracing socialism, communism and other totalitarian forms of government. John Adams had a great quote that I feel is applicable "A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy…. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…. If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security."

  17. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,

    You and the the ignorant right wing people who support you are a joke. Brave and loyal Americans know that the way to restructuring our country is through elections.
    We took our country back from the kooks in November.

    Ken

  18. Gail B says:

    SCREW FLOWER POWER, PEOPLE POWER said, "The summer has proven to be a resurgence for conservative political organizing after a lackluster performance during the 2008 election."

    I disagree with your term "conservative political organizing."

    What you are seeing is a grassroots effort, not a "manufactured" effort. If you recall, the "protesters" at the town hall meetings were Obama plants, paid for by "liberal political organizations," such as Sierra Club, ACORN, et al.

    Do not believe that grassroots is astroturf. We are what we are, from websites (not organizations paying us) to share information and work together.

    You can believe that the liberal political organizations believe wholeheartedly in Castroturf because they fork the money over to get protesters on the scenes, complete with T-shirts and printed signs. What a waste of tax money funneled covertly to them by this regime.

  19. KEN, YAWNNNNN says:

    Come Monday we are going to see who the kooks are…… I hear Glenn has an expose' that will knock the countries socks off. 2010 elections will show where this countries minds are. That HOPE & CHANGE has burnt off.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Rix needs to explain elections to Ken.

  21. Gail B says:

    SCREW FLOWER POWER, PEOPLE POWER said,

    "The summer has proven to be a resurgence for conservative political organizing after a lackluster performance during the 2008 election." ("lackluster performance during the 2008 election"? Well, check this out!

    Gallup: Conservatives Outnumber Liberals in 50 States

    Monday, August 17, 2009 9:04 PM

    Self-identified conservatives now outnumber self-identified liberals in all 50 states of the union, according to the Gallup Poll.

    And more Americans nationwide are saying this year that they are conservative than have made that claim in any of the last four years, according to CNSNews.com.

    In 2009, 40 percent of respondents in Gallup surveys that have interviewed more than 160,000 Americans have said that they are either “conservative” (31 percent) or “very conservative” (9 percent). That is the highest percentage in any year since 2004.

    By contrast, only 21 percent have told Gallup they are liberal, including 16 percent who say they are “liberal” and 5 percent who say they are “very liberal.”

    Read the full story at CNSNews.com.

    SCREW PEOPLE POWER–We "astroturf" conservatives are looking forward to 2010 elections! Screw the MARXISTS! We'll see how well the American voters think Congress is doing then, won't we?

  22. GETS CONFUSING IN HERE says:

    not sure, but think Gail has misread the ol all caps man again.

  23. Gail B says:

    Well, click on my name to get into my profile, and then send me an email to explain where I fell off the wagon of humor/reason/sarcasm/comprehension.

    Thanks.

    I'm just mad at the entire freaking world today it seems. Am going to pay my auto ins. and head to a friend's for a game of cards.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Everyone must wake up and find out who is really running America. It ain't Obama, and it was not Bush. Google Council on Foreign Relations and the new World Order. The left-right paradigm is obsolete.
    http://www.infowars.com

  25. Gail B says:

    KEN-

    If we're such a joke, then LAUGH and be on your way, how 'bout it?.

  26. HIT THE ROAD KEN says:

    Gail, we'll see who has the last laugh, won't we? I am so looking forward to Glenn's expose' this coming week. Everybody hang on! Maybe egg will look good on Kens face.

    ALL CAPS MAN

    verification word: copin
    What we are all doing with this president

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