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Thread: Members of Previous Generations Now Seem Like Giants

  1. #1

    Members of Previous Generations Now Seem Like Giants

    H/T to Mike Rowe for posting this on FB.

    Many of the stories about the gods and heroes of Greek mythology were compiled during Greek Dark Ages. Impoverished tribes passed down oral traditions that originated after the fall of the lost palatial civilizations of the Mycenaean Greeks.

    Dark Age Greeks tried to make sense of the massive ruins of their forgotten forbearers' monumental palaces that were still standing around. As illiterates, they were curious about occasional clay tablets they plowed up in their fields with incomprehensible ancient Linear B inscriptions.


    We of the 21st century are beginning to look back at our own lost epic times and wonder about these now-nameless giants who left behind monuments that we cannot replicate, but instead merely use or even mock.

    Does anyone believe that contemporary Americans could build another transcontinental railroad in six years?

    Californians tried to build a high-speed rail line. But after more than a decade of government incompetence, lawsuits, cost overruns and constant bureaucratic squabbling, they have all but given up. The result is a half-built overpass over the skyline of Fresno -- and not yet a foot of track laid.

    Who were those giants of the 1960s responsible for building our interstate highway system?

    California's roads now are mostly the same as we inherited them, although the state population has tripled. We have added little to our freeway network, either because we forgot how to build good roads or would prefer to spend the money on redistributive entitlements.

    When California had to replace a quarter section of the earthquake-damaged San Francisco Bay Bridge, it turned into a near-disaster, with 11 years of acrimony, fighting, cost overruns -- and a commentary on our decline into Dark Ages primitivism. Yet 82 years ago, our ancestors built four times the length of our singe replacement span in less than four years. It took them just two years to design the entire Bay Bridge and award the contracts.

    Our generation required five years just to plan to replace a single section. In inflation-adjusted dollars, we spent six times the money on one quarter of the length of the bridge and required 13 agencies to grant approval. In 1936, just one agency oversaw the entire bridge project.

    California has not built a major dam in 40 years. Instead, officials squabble over the water stored and distributed by our ancestors, who designed the California State Water Project and Central Valley Project.

    Contemporary Californians would have little food or water without these massive transfers, and yet they often ignore or damn the generation that built the very system that saves us.

    America went to the moon in 1969 with supposedly primitive computers and backward engineering. Does anyone believe we could launch a similar moonshot today? No American has set foot on the moon in the last 47 years, and it may not happen in the next 50 years.

    Hollywood once gave us blockbuster epics, brilliant Westerns, great film noirs, and classic comedies. Now it endlessly turns out comic-book superhero films or pathetic remakes of prior classics.

    Our writers, directors and actors have lost the skills of their ancestors. But they are also cowardly, and in regimented fashion they simply parrot boring race, class and gender bromides that are neither interesting nor funny. Does anyone believe that the Oscar ceremonies are more engaging and dignified than in the past?

    We have been fighting in Afghanistan without result for 18 years. Our forefathers helped to win World War II and defeat the Axis Powers in four years.

    In terms of learning, does anyone believe that a college graduate in 2020 will know half the information of a 1950 graduate?

    In the 1940s, young people read William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pearl Buck and John Steinbeck. Are our current novelists turning out anything comparable? Could today's high-school graduate even finish "The Good Earth" or "The Grapes of Wrath"?

    True, social media is impressive. The internet gives us instant access to global knowledge. We are a more tolerant society, at least in theory. But Facebook is not the Hoover Dam, and Twitter is not the Panama Canal.

    Our ancestors were builders and pioneers and mostly fearless. We are regulators, auditors, bureaucrats, adjudicators, censors, critics, plaintiffs, defendants, social media junkies and thin-skinned scolds. A distant generation created; we mostly delay, idle and gripe.

    As we walk amid the refuse, needles and excrement of the sidewalks of our fetid cities; as we sit motionless on our jammed ancient freeways; and as we pout on Twitter and electronically whine in the porticos of our Ivy League campuses, will we ask: "Who were these people who left these strange monuments that we use but can neither emulate nor understand?"

    In comparison to us, they now seem like gods.
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/ar...aOiLZwR05ljsEA



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  3. #2
    So very true and so very sad.

    ETA:

    That was written by Victor Davis Hanson

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/vict...20-%20Mixed%29
    Last edited by donnay; 10-10-2019 at 01:01 PM.
    My website: https://www.theherbsofthefield.com/

    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.Ē ~ Charles Dickens

  4. #3

  5. #4
    I look back on Paul Bunyan like that.
    "It's probably the biggest hoax since Big Foot!" - Mitt Romney 1-16-2012 SC Debate

  6. #5
    Highways?
    Novels?

    Go to any random north-Eastern "town", like, for instance, New London, Connecticut, or Carbondale, Pennsylvania.
    There are literally thousands of places like that - places that used to be some place, and now are NOTHING.
    Nobody has ever heard of these places, nor will they.
    Even great cities like Baltimore are withered-up husks.

    This country is literally littered with the rusting reminders of its former greatness.
    A century ago brick factories that were designed to look good were built to last for generations.
    They've all been replaced with sheet metal shacks on the side of the interstate, all indistinguishable from megachurches, both in class and in depth of character.

    Mike is obsessing over state-funded projects.
    That's just the tip of the iceberg. The problem he's wailing about is everywhere and in all things.
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by fisharmor View Post
    Highways?
    Novels?

    Go to any random north-Eastern "town", like, for instance, New London, Connecticut, or Carbondale, Pennsylvania.
    There are literally thousands of places like that - places that used to be some place, and now are NOTHING.
    Nobody has ever heard of these places, nor will they.
    Even great cities like Baltimore are withered-up husks.

    This country is literally littered with the rusting reminders of its former greatness.
    A century ago brick factories that were designed to look good were built to last for generations.
    They've all been replaced with sheet metal shacks on the side of the interstate, all indistinguishable from megachurches, both in class and in depth of character.

    Mike is obsessing over state-funded projects.
    That's just the tip of the iceberg. The problem he's wailing about is everywhere and in all things.
    Regardless of whether state funded, projects got done. THAT is his point. We live in a crumbling landscape now. THIS generation, THIS government, is not even capable of maintaining what was created by it's forebears. And yet we are taxed at a level far beyond what they payed into a system that actually created.
    We have Naval ships a decade behind schedule and five times the estimated cost that have not even touched water. Planes that have not even flown while more funds are appropriated to them. On and on.
    And you are correct, private business that is incapable of creating something grand. A sheet metal shack is an appropriate description of the current America.
    The problem is everywhere and in in all things.
    It's the rot of dying greatness.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    Regardless of whether state funded, projects got done. THAT is his point. We live in a crumbling landscape now. THIS generation, THIS government, is not even capable of maintaining what was created by it's forebears. And yet we are taxed at a level far beyond what they payed into a system that actually created.
    We have Naval ships a decade behind schedule and five times the estimated cost that have not even touched water. Planes that have not even flown while more funds are appropriated to them. On and on.
    And you are correct, private business that is incapable of creating something grand. A sheet metal shack is an appropriate description of the current America.
    The problem is everywhere and in in all things.
    It's the rot of dying greatness.
    The elite are strangling the golden goose, if you don't let the milk cows eat at least a little bit you will get no milk.
    Past generations of kleptocrats were much wiser even from their own selfish point of view.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The elite are strangling the golden goose, if you don't let the milk cows eat at least a little bit you will get no milk.
    Past generations of kleptocrats were much wiser even from their own selfish point of view.
    Bit, by bit, Americans were sold on mediocrity without accountability. Once mediocrity without accountability was achieved, it has plummeted to where we now live in a place of NOTHING for more than our share of SOMETHING.
    Might as well use the paper dollar for ass-wipe or fire starter.



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    Bit, by bit, Americans were sold on mediocrity without accountability. Once mediocrity without accountability was achieved, it has plummeted to where we now live in a place of NOTHING for more than our share of SOMETHING.
    Might as well use the paper dollar for ass-wipe or fire starter.
    I'll never understand why the last few generations of Oligarchs decided that they would prefer to own slaves working a dunghill instead of employing serfs working a mansion.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  12. #10
    As far as novels, I read Speculator and Drug Lord by Doug Casey over the last couple of weekends and I honestly think they blow Atlas Shrugged (or anything he mentioned) away in terms quality of writing.

    I always thought Casey was slightly crazy but he writes a heck of a great story. Highly recommended.

    As far as the rest of the stuff Rowe said, I agree. I remember Peter Thiel saying something about how much more ineffective government has become.

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I'll never understand why the last few generations of Oligarchs decided that they would prefer to own slaves working a dunghill instead of employing serfs working a mansion.
    You seem to make it about the 'have' and 'have not's.' I'm here to tell you that there is an endemic problem from the top down to the very bottom. The 'serf' as you call them.
    Nobody wants greatness. Whether through self determination or mutually shared determination.

    A sea of mediocrity.

    And such still winds and such a fog that the stars and even the Sun cannot be gleaned.

    Dead in the water. With rations running out.

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    You seem to make it about the 'have' and 'have not's.' I'm here to tell you that there is an endemic problem from the top down to the very bottom. The 'serf' as you call them.
    Nobody wants greatness. Whether through self determination or mutually shared determination.

    A sea of mediocrity.

    And such still winds and such a fog that the stars and even the Sun cannot be gleaned.

    Dead in the water. With rations running out.
    I agree but the powerful have a much greater effect than the weak.
    And the weak's attitude is aggravated by being stolen from far more and welfarized.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    You seem to make it about the 'have' and 'have not's.' I'm here to tell you that there is an endemic problem from the top down to the very bottom. The 'serf' as you call them.
    Nobody wants greatness. Whether through self determination or mutually shared determination.

    A sea of mediocrity.

    And such still winds and such a fog that the stars and even the Sun cannot be gleaned.

    Dead in the water. With rations running out.
    Trapped in the doldrums, with everyone on drugs.
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    ďThey are what they hate.Ē - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    And you are correct, private business that is incapable of creating something grand. A sheet metal shack is an appropriate description of the current America.
    The problem is everywhere and in in all things.
    It's the rot of dying greatness.
    This is what private business created 100 years ago, among thousands of other things:



    And the elites tell us the solution is to import millions more semi-literate, sub-IQ wretched refuse and diversity, and put them on the public dole.

  17. #15
    Too busy droppin' trillions into giant sand lots to bring banker hegemony to the world...
    "Let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    The entire internet is the domain of paid shills and bots. If you don't know this by now....

    Israel, under control of the Crown and, ultimately, the Vatican, own the USA. If you don't know this by now....

    Talk to people about liberty. You won't find it on websites, you won't find it in politicians.

    Visiting the Outer Banks of NC?
    Outer Banks NC Fishing Boat Rentals

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Krugminator2 View Post
    I remember Peter Thiel saying something about how much more ineffective government has become.
    How much more ineffective? Can it be any less? Wait, don't answer that.



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    This is what private business created 100 years ago, among thousands of other things:



    And the elites tell us the solution is to import millions more semi-literate, sub-IQ wretched refuse and diversity, and put them on the public dole.
    Semi-literate, sub-IQ, wretched refuse think sheet metal shacks on the side of a highway are state-of-the-art.

    Not that Americunts aren't much better. No class.

    Middle class workers '20's.



    Men's Wear House and Jos. A Banks have suits for less than $300 bucks.

    I doubt that no more than 2 Gen Z in 100 even own one.

    Being classy is so archaic.

    One of these days the wretched refuse is going to be tilling up Sail Fawns and look on them with the same inquisitiveness as the Dark Age Greeks did of Mycenean tablets.

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    Middle class workers '20's.

    Now that's funny.

    A couple years ago my light jacket died, and I just pulled a tweed blazer out of my closet and started wearing that instead. 'Cause I figured why would I go spend the better part of a C-note on a jacket I'm not really going to like, when I have one that I spent $5 on at the thrift store...
    ...and I've gotten more "why are you dressed up today" comments than I can count. Even when I wear it over a Legend of Zelda T-shirt.

    And I still wear the ivy cap that I bought in 1991, long before "hipster" was even a word.
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    This is what private business created 100 years ago, among thousands of other things:



    And the elites tell us the solution is to import millions more semi-literate, sub-IQ wretched refuse and diversity, and put them on the public dole.

    That building was built by semi-literate, sub-IQ wretched refuse and diversity.

    The only real difference is that 'put them on the public dole' bit.
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by fisharmor View Post

    That building was built by semi-literate, sub-IQ wretched refuse and diversity.

    The only real difference is that 'put them on the public dole' bit.
    Wrong, the people who built that building were much more intelligent than the kind being imported now and shared much more common culture (including things like work ethic) with the natives.

    (And they still helped foul up the politics and bring us to where we are)
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  24. #21

  25. #22
    I have to look back a long way to find giants...

    The critical problems of our era are the long-term results of the decisions of long-dead voters who thought much like voters do today.

    People are softer today, to be sure, but not any smarter, more well-informed, or more moral (as to important political questions, anyway).

    Patience - the stupid decisions of your contemporaries will be causing similar problems for your descendants in due time.

    Rome wasn't unbuilt in a day.
    "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

    -H. L. Mencken

  26. #23
    America will be great again.

    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  27. #24
    @Swordsmyth

    What fresh, derptastic meme is this?

    P.S. I like how the wolves are racially diverse, very P.C. of you.
    "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

    -H. L. Mencken



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  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0 View Post
    @Swordsmyth

    What fresh, derptastic meme is this?
    Read up on r/K theory.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  30. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Read up on r/K theory.
    ...ah, that nonsense.
    "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

    -H. L. Mencken

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    How much more ineffective? Can it be any less? Wait, don't answer that.
    Ya I think we must accept it as a given that the ineffective is now much more ineffective . During Ike's eight years of presidency a total of 23 billion dollars were added to the debt ( two years there was a surplus ) . A trillion can be added now and the country will still be in worse shape than 1961.
    Do something Danke

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0 View Post
    ...ah, that nonsense.
    K Theory is already happening, you just have to know where to look: https://www.sonsoflibertyso.com/

  33. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Wrong, the people who built that building were much more intelligent than the kind being imported now and shared much more common culture (including things like work ethic) with the natives.

    (And they still helped foul up the politics and bring us to where we are)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    It was?

    Show me where it states Grand Central Station was designed and built by Ghanan, Honduran and Pakistan migrants.
    See, it always boils down to race with the anti-immigration crowd. I didn't bring up race: you guys did. I gave you a chance to recognize that the same racist bull$#@! was said about Italians, Irish, Poles, and don't get me started on the Chinese (I shouldn't have to remind you two that they were the specified targets of the earliest immigration laws, which laws were passed a full century after the birth of the US).

    The non-Anglo Europeans that built Grand Central, the New York skyline, the railroads, and everything else that was great, absolutely were semi-literate, sub-IQ, wretched, and refuse. What they weren't, is particularly dark-skinned.

    The difference between the shoeless Italian people that emigrated here 120 years ago, and the ones who are coming over here today?
    Yesterday's Italians were presumed to be incapable of anything more complicated than mixing mortar,
    and today's Ghanans and Pakis are your nurses and computer programmers and small business owners.
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.

  34. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by fisharmor View Post
    See, it always boils down to race with the anti-immigration crowd. I didn't bring up race: you guys did. I gave you a chance to recognize that the same racist bull$#@! was said about Italians, Irish, Poles, and don't get me started on the Chinese (I shouldn't have to remind you two that they were the specified targets of the earliest immigration laws, which laws were passed a full century after the birth of the US).

    The non-Anglo Europeans that built Grand Central, the New York skyline, the railroads, and everything else that was great, absolutely were semi-literate, sub-IQ, wretched, and refuse. What they weren't, is particularly dark-skinned.

    The difference between the shoeless Italian people that emigrated here 120 years ago, and the ones who are coming over here today?
    Yesterday's Italians were presumed to be incapable of anything more complicated than mixing mortar,
    and today's Ghanans and Pakis are your nurses and computer programmers and small business owners.
    It's not about race no matter how hard you try to twist our words, it's about culture primarily and multi-generation poverty/malnutrition etc. and many other factors that cause lower intelligence. (Culture affects intelligence directly and indirectly)

    We don't want bad culture or low intelligence whatever their source, both lead to a loss of liberty and wealth.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

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