Welcome, everyone (Even you Democrats) to the most intense nightly read anywhere on the Sphere…The BitsBlog Nightly Ramble
Webmater’s notes: This thing went out several hours early due to an error in programming. Sorry.
- GLOBAL WARMING? No… Coldest summer in Chicago in 66 years.  At some point, they’re going to have to admit that global warming is a fraud.
- A MICROCOSM OF BIG GOVERNMENT AND IT’S EFFECTS: New York State, that is. Martin links , without much comment, Fred Siegel at the City Journal: 
“The upstate alliance wasn’t powerful enough to stop Rockefeller’s massive expansion of government and was, in fact, undone by it, as was upstate itself. Burdened by the heavy taxes and by a welter of rigid new state business regulations, upstate bled employers and jobs. If you count New York north of greater Gotham as a separate state, it has ranked between 46th and 50th in the U.S. in job growth over the past 40 years. Buffalo, Elmira, Rochester, Syracuse, and Utica all suffer from 25 percent-plus poverty rates; much of rural upstate has sunk into Appalachian hardship. The young and talented have left the region in droves.”
Billy notes the same link and says, I think rightly:
I’ve been saying it for years: this is a functional depression up here.
More than ten years ago, I was on the road and my current reading was Solzhenitsyn’s “November 1916”. A guitarist inquired about it, listened to my brief, and recalling that I’d had volumes of Soviet history out with me before, asked, “You love Russia, don’t you?”
It was a completely innocent question from a man I enjoy and admire, but I was taken aback at his misapprehension, for which cannot fault him. He really had no way to see below the surface to my interest.
I look around at this beautiful country up here and the people who live and work here, and my heart breaks for them. They remind me of Russians. No matter what this government does to them, they just keep plowing along as best they can with a stoicism that could be lauded as heroism if it were facing some natural disaster instead of this human-engineered disaster. As it is, it’s just tragic.
Billy and I have discussed this angle before, years ago…and as I think on it now, I remember trying to discussionally tie the feeling he describes here to a musical piece that he’d understand the reference to, as well as the context. I don’t know how effective I was at it, in retrospect, but I’ll relate it to you anyway….The song is from Pink Floyd’s ‘Darkside of the Moon’ Album. The song says ‘hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way’. I think it fits the situation here in NY that Billy so aptly describes. The reason that quote fits so well is multi-facited.
First because our cultures at their root are pretty similar. There is a degree of (I think) culturally driven fatalism in most Americans anymore that defies alteration. It’s a cultural aspect we and the Brits share. The other thing we share with the Brits, importantly, is the degree to which government has taken over the lives of the citizenry. We’re no longer citizens, given the level of government. We have, both here in the states…(in my observation, particularly in the northeast, including New York) over time, become subjects, not citizens… the way the Brits are. They’re in the largest of degrees no longer subject to the crown, but to the government in all really funcional parts, has replaced that crown. The level of government intrusion in our lives is remarkably similar. So too, are the results… both economic and emotionally, culturally. Compare the business climate of NY state as Billy describes it and compare it to this recent report from London.  Getting the message yet?
- SPEAKING OF GOVERNEMNT INTRUSION: Boortz does a fair job of explaining one aspect of it.  And yes, the two situations are directly connected, even if you’re not ‘rich’.
- A GRASP OF THE OBVIOUS: Mona Charen has a firm grasp of the obvious . No, that’s no insult, given the number of people who lack that ability.
- CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: I mentioned Michelle’s new book, yesterday… said it’d do well. Guess I was right… it’s number 2 as of this morning. 
- OOPS: Gates revises his tax returns based on a Blog post? Yes, that Gates.  And The Tax Prof has more and more to say about all this.