Land of the Docile and Unfree

By H.L. Mencken

The American of today, in fact, probably enjoys less personal liberty than any other man of Christendom, and even his political liberty is fast succumbing to the new dogma that certain theories of government are virtuous and lawful, and others abhorrent and felonious. Laws limiting the radius of his free activity multiply year by year: It is now practically impossible for him to exhibit anything describable as genuine individuality, either in action or in thought, without running afoul of some harsh and unintelligible penalty.

It would surprise no impartial observer if the motto “In God we trust” were one day expunged from the coins of the republic by the Junkers at Washington, and the far more appropriate word, “verboten,” substituted. Nor would it astound any save the most romantic if, at the same time, the goddess of liberty were taken off the silver dollars to make room for a bas-relief of a policeman in a spiked helmet.

Moreover, this gradual (and, of late, rapidly progressive) decay of freedom goes almost without challenge; the American has grown so accustomed to the denial of his constitutional rights and to the minute regulation of his conduct by swarms of spies, letter-openers, informers and agents provocateurs that he no longer makes any serious protest.

It is surely a significant fact that, in the face of the late almost incredible proceedings under the so-called Espionage Act and other such laws, the only objections heard of came either from the persons directly affected—nine-tenths of them Socialists, pacifists, or citizens accused of German sympathies, and hence without any rights whatever in American law and equity—or from a small group of professional libertarians, chiefly naturalized aliens.

The American people, as a people, acquiesced docilely in all these tyrannies, both during the war and after the war, just as they acquiesced in the invasion of their common rights by the Prohibition Amendment. Worse, they not only acquiesced docilely; they approved actively; they were quite as hotly against the few protestants as they were against the original victims, and gave their hearty approbation to every proposal that the former be punished too.

The really startling phenomenon of the war, indeed, was not the grotesque abolition of liberty in the name of liberty, but the failure of that usurpation to arouse anything approaching public indignation. It is impossible to imagine the men of Jackson’s army or even of Grant’s army submitting to any such absolutism without a furious struggle, but in these latter days it is viewed with the utmost complacency.

The descendants of the Americans who punished John Adams so melodramatically for the Alien and Seditions Acts of 1789 failed to raise a voice against the far more drastic legislation of 1917. What is more, they failed to raise a voice against its execution upon the innocent as well as upon the guilty, in gross violation of the most elemental principles of justice and rules of law.

From The American Credo: A Contribution toward the Interpretation of the National Mind (1920)

61 thoughts on “Land of the Docile and Unfree”

  1. The Slave State

    I think that’s the expression that really needs to be used. Mencken understood what would happen in the future, that the US government would become even worse. Example Kerry, Cooper and friends obfuscate in this interview – so insulting to us. The comments tell it all – many people no longer believe Oswald had anything to do with shooting JFK, and Oswald knew he would be a patsy after he warned the FBI about the attempt weeks before in Chicago.

  2. Ditto for Canada and Canadians. The Liberal Party has a document, “Navigating the Journey to Wellness, A Comprehensive Mental Health Strategy”, which they are putting into law and to which all the old, rich bourgeoisie are contributing millions of dollars. That document was obtained by SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suiting people in the KNOW about the damage psychiatric drugs and electroconvulsive shock do to people. I was sued for $5 million on the day one of the vested interests was in the legislature vying for more money and power. They sued me for libel and conspiracy and gagged me because I knew what went on in there. They dropped it 6 months later when the document was presented to parliament. Does anyone care? No. They will look twice when their child goes to school in the morning healthy and comes home mentally ill with the threat of involuntary commitment or Children’s Aid if they don’t take dangerous and life stifling drugs.

  3. The major cultural reason for the intellectual docility and unfreedom of the American people, in my opinion, resides in the fact that White America was founded by religious fanatics. The Pilgrims and Puritans came over from England to exercise the freedom to impose their austere superstitions on everybody else. So America has been a land of religious loonies, including what Menken has called the Bible Belt, at a time when more civilized countries have consigned these primitive beliefs to the braindead.

    Traditional religion is a power ideology. It legitimates Divine and earthly power and tends to back authority of all kinds, including enslavement. In doing so it demeans, denigrates, and marginalizes people. The power delusions of religion legitimates the perverted and oppressive values it espouses, and when there is a war, slavery, economic inequality, or oppressive lunacy of any kind, you will see the priests and their acolytes leading the march to devastation.

    The current shutdown of the government by the Tea Party over government medical care is a good example. What is routine in civilized countries, socialized medicine, called single payee since atheistic socialism is anathema to the religious, is the work of Satan in the USA, since the plutocrats who finance the opposition to it would have to pay for some of it. The opposition to Obamacare is largely not due to its irrationalities and corporate expenses, but opposition to government medical care of any kind. And this opposition is implicitly fueled by religious lunacy which induces the people to identify with their own oppression.

    Religion produces a few leaders and truthers who have a genuine moral sense: Martin Luther King, John Brown, peace advocate Jim Douglass who wrote JFK AND THE UNMENTIONABLE, David Ray Griffin, a theologian who began the questioning of 9/11, the Berrington brothers, etc. But by far the major effect of traditional religion is to induce people to do what they are told and to think what they are taught. The American people do.

    This is the reason why American ideology is so childish, reactionary, and obsolete. There is no vigorous effort in the mainstream American truth consensus to tell the simple truth about the power implications of religion. This is not merely the power delusions it instills, but the perverted anti-people values it espouses that induce people to identify with their own oppression by power. Intellectual freedom is the freedom to discuss religion and politics, and that freedom has never existed in the USA, largely because of the intellectual and cultural restrictions of the America’s religious tradition.

    But I am not arguing here against the need for a moral and spiritual ideology. I think one is necessary for people to live together. But it should be devoted to what is sacred in people, in the past, present, and future persons of the earth. I think that is the necessary ideology of the 21 century, succeeding the Marxism which was the major world social theory of the 20th. In pre-history the major god was the Great Mother, a symbol of fertility essential for the survival of small bands of persons. it was succeeded by the war religions of Northern herders who conquered the agriculturalists and imposed their patriarchal and racial values. This included the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the war religions that plague us today.

    It is perfectly feasible to develop a spiritual ideology that extols the earth’s people which, and which emphasizes telling the simple holistic truth. But to legitimate a new ideological world-view, it is necessary to subvert the old ones. The USA cannot take the lead in doing so because the people have been indoctrinated by American power to be deluded, intellectually cowardly, and morally corrupt. But the USA contains only 4+% of the earthperson population, and freedom of expression can be actually practiced in other countries, instead of the usual intellectual oppression while iFreedom is being Proclaimed here.

    1. When my monthly healthcare insurance premium is more than my mortgage payment and does not cover the first $12,000 of my medical costs and threatens to bankrupt me in the event of a major medical event with 40% of the bill, this sir is slavery. For what greater good is it that the government would deem my plan, that I choose to pay for that has lesser costs and deductibles for me, guarantees 100% payment of a major medical event? Where are all the Canadians and people from all over the world going to go for good healthcare when our system is dismantled? Isn’t it morally corrupt to cancel the healthcare plan of a person with cancer, who has been responsibly paying for it themselves and offer a plan that is too expensive and denies them access to the very care that thus far has saved their lives? Yes PERIOD.

      1. Hi Kathy,

        You write: Where are all the Canadians and people from all over the world going to go for good healthcare when our system is dismantled?

        Canadians will go to their own ‘single payer’ hospitals, where the ‘care’ received is actually second to none and, moreover, offered to “all” citizens alike, rich or poor. (Although, it’s true: if the American corporations (on either side of the border) have their way, that ‘single payer’ option may soon be a thing of the past.)

        In the meantime, no one in Canada is going bankrupt on account of unforeseen and expensive medical catastrophes, let alone without coverage for lack of being able to pay outrageously expensive insurance premiums to ‘private insurance companies.’ If your healthcare insurance premiums, Kathy, are higher than your mortgage, that’s because you are being gouged by a ‘for profit’ or ‘privatized’ system of healthcare.

        Mark has it exactly right when he writes: “The opposition to Obamacare is largely not due to its irrationalities and corporate expenses, but opposition to government medical care of any kind.” In other words, though opposition to the Obamacare option should be based on an understanding of its glaring “irrationalities” and implicit immorality, for most people, their opposition is grounded on “anything but” such an understanding.

        Most Americans confuse what amounts to ” ‘forced extortion’ by private insurance corporations” with ” ‘socialized medicine’ or the ‘single payer option,’ ” or in other words, “with medical care offered not for profit, but on the basis of ‘individual’ need.” The two schemes are absolutely not ‘identical:’ whereas the first is simply unconscionable profiteering, the second is just and equitable and grounded in a humanitarian concern for the suffering of any human being.

        Your response to Mark, I’m sorry to say, is ideological or reflexive, and certainly not based on an understanding of what a ‘socialized’ option in medicine entails. Your reply is, to my mind, precisely emblematic of the kind of ‘reaction’ that the American establishment works so hard at implanting as a ‘conditioned response’ in the mind of the public at large and apparently with stunning success.

        1. This argument is almost entirely false.

          I will not take the whole thing apart, and produce a very long diatribe, but only touch on the most important points.

          You obviously have little understanding of the medical reality in Canada. Kathy is entirely correct in that America is the “steam release valve” for Canada’s hopelessly failing system. Rather than with for months–even years–for treatment, people with money simply cross the border and get treated right away. Private medical practice is illegal in Canada.

          All of your argument is based on false premises. The reason the insurance industry in this country is so horrible is because of government. Prior to the despicable Lyndon Johnson, every county had a charity hospital, and every person was treated, at little or no cost; all local doctors put in a set number of hours there at no charge. Almost all other hospitals were the creation of Christians and Jews. The medical field was noble, inexpensive, and entirely private.

          I said that the execrable Lyndon Johnson ruined medicine in this country, but that’s not entirely accurate. I wonder if the guy who REALLY started the destruction likes the flames of Hell, where he currently resides: Franklin Roosevelt. During his nasty, unnecessary war, he imposed wage and price controls. The only way to entice an employee to change jobs (most of the guys were away fighting Roosevelt’s filthy war) was to offer things that were not forbidden under the controls. While medical insurance had little value in those days, it was SOMETHING. Anything. Pile on the “fringe benefits,” and maybe a fellow will switch jobs.

          This is the origin of the strange custom in this country where your employer is expected to buy insurance for you. How many ask what he’s not expected to insure your house, or your boat, or your farm?

          So irrational, non-market incentives, imposed by the tyrannical state, bent the entire world of doctoring out of shape. That’s the legacy of the 20th century: statism kills freedom and eliminates free markets.

          The reasonable answer to America’s sick medical system is easy: 1)eliminate the FDA and the Department of Agriculture
          2)mandate that any insurance company can sell its products in all 50 states (I am dubious about the District of Columbia; I think those people deserve to be punished)
          3)eliminate all restrictions on what a medical insurance policy may cover; if lots of people want only lung cancer coverage–and nothing else–let such policies be created and sold
          4)eliminate the incentive for employers to pay for health insurance; ALL insurance should be tax exempt
          5)systematically reduce the role of Medicare, which singlehandedly has exploded the price of medical services; the government has forced up prices, and this must be reversed. Get the state’s hands off the field entirely

          Easy, but impossible. Once the state has greased industrial hands, the corruption can only grow. Wisdom cannot prevail. A genuine free market can’t be restored.

          To see what freedom in medicine can produce, one need look no farther than the two wonder stories of recent years: Lasik eye surgery and cosmetic surgery. Neither were originally covered by medical insurance, and the state had no restrictive hand on their respective throats. Quality very rapidly increased, and price plunged. Kind of like computer technology and cell phones.

          The state is deadly, because it is evil and incompetent. Free people are the answer to the poison the state, by its nature, produces.

        2. Oh, and it’s a certainty that Mencken, were he alive today, would agree wholeheartedly with my assessment.

        3. Hi Patrick,

          I also will not pick the nits out of your reply. You write: “You obviously have little understanding of the medical reality in Canada. Kathy is entirely correct in that America is the “steam release valve” for Canada’s hopelessly failing system. Rather than with for months–even years–for treatment, people with money simply cross the border and get treated right away. Private medical practice is illegal in Canada.”

          Indeed, ‘people with money’ will cross the border so as not to have to get in line like “everyone” else, since waiting, as in any hospital, is based upon ‘triage’ and “prioritizing” the more urgent cases. True, in Canada, the rich man with a “hang-nail infected toe” must wait behind the poor man who needs an urgent diagnosis on account of a pulmonary embolism.

          Admittedly, the infected toe hurts like hell, but it isn’t as life threatening as the pulmonary embolism. So let the rich ‘toe infected’ man go to the states where he can buy his way ahead of everyone else even if on a less urgent priority. And whereas for some in America, a pulmonary embolism will get prioritized in the Emergency Department, a lack of unaffordable health insurance coverage could thereby and thereafter mean both personal bankruptcy and substandard convalescent care, substandard care that could (and sometimes does) result in premature or needless death. The ordinary Canadian does not confront either bankruptcy or substandard convalescent care in any instance where he is confronted with a medical emergency that cannot be put off.

          You insinuate that ‘ordinary’ Canadians (and this would also include — gasp!!! — the rich Canadian man) must wait for “months” and sometimes “years” for treatment, but you do not state the categories of the “urgencies” of the medical interventions at hand, nor do you direct me to any “documented” source(s) for your claim. Could you specify what kinds of medical cases are routinely deferred in Canada for months and years, and where can I verify for myself the information that backs up your claims?

          And as for a ‘crumbling’ medical system, is that because ‘socialized medicine’ is inherently substandard, or is the system being ‘deliberately underfunded,’ not because it is too expensive, but because ‘the powers that should not be’ want to create an untenable situation to justify the “privatization” of a system that could yet increase the number of ‘profit sources’ for the oligarchs? And then, though you offhandedly make the claim, you also yet again fail to point me to reliable sources of information that would corroborate your claim that the Canadian system is “crumbling.”

          Have you seen Michael Moore’s “Sicko?” My Canadian acquaintances assure me that the segment in this movie dealing with the Canadian system is accurate and representative.

          Here, by the way, are some interesting data points of comparison between and seemingly relevant to both the Canadian and U.S. systems:

          Life Expectancy:

          Canada: 81.3 United States: 78.1

          Infant Mortality Rate:

          Canada: 4.5 United States: 6.9

          Physician per Thousand:

          Canada: 2.2 United States: 2.4

          Nurses per Thousand:

          Canada: 9.0 United States: 10.6

          Per Capita Expenditure on Health (USD):

          Canada: $3,895.00 United States: $7,290.00

          Health Care Costs as a Percentage of GDP:

          Canada: 10.1% United States: 16.0%

          Percent of Government Revenue Spent on Health:

          Canada: 16.7% United States: 18.5%

          Percent of Health Costs Paid by Government:

          Canada: 69.8% United States: 45.4%

          You can find these numbers here:

          Oh, and by the way, I am Canadian, and as it happened, I had a life threatening ailment last summer.

          The care I received was first rate. I literally didn’t even wait one minute to be treated when I arrived at the hospital and was also quite literally spared an untimely death. Never got a bill, either, despite months of treatment, and there is no need for me to hold my breath over that one. And though I’m still not 100% back to what I was before my medical emergency, I’m almost there.

          So though I may not be intimately familiar with all the crucial details of the Canadian health care system, I am obviously a bit more acquainted with it than you seem to think. And everyone I talk to, including physicians, likes the system. What ‘Canadians’ don’t like is a government intent on underfunding an efficient and socially equitable system so as to deliberately wreck it. It’s not ‘ordinary’ Canadians who are against ‘universal health care;” it’s the rich and their corporations. For the rich cannot ‘profit’ from what they neither own nor control.

        4. Norm – thanks for the humor citing Michael Moore and Wikipedia , normally wouldn’t bother to respond but cannot resist pointing out that you somehow missed the 2nd poster on this comment board who is a professional health care worker in Canada and has a compelling report of standing up to the powers that be there, and threatened with a 6 million dollar lawsuit for telling the truth. Have witnessed plenty of heartbreaking news stories of folks coming here for life saving heart surgeries and hip replacements that could not wait 18 months.;_ylu=X3oDMTEzODBmdTRsBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNwRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA1NNRTMyNF8x/SIG=14p3abpi0/EXP=1384240379/**http%3a//

        5. I love this: “I am dubious about the District of Columbia; I think those people deserve to be punished.”

          Yes, may they live by the laws they make.

          Like the emperor without clothes, Obamacare is the high-premium healthcare with deductions so high it doesn’t actually provide healthcare. In essence, people making over $35,000 are paying for a nice idea. Pretty damn expensive idea.

          As Ernest Callenbach said in his last words to America: “We live in the declining years of what is still the biggest economy in the world, where a looter elite has fastened itself upon the decaying carcass of the empire. It is intent on speedily and relentlessly extracting the maximum wealth from that carcass, impoverishing our former working middle class.”

          Folks, if Obamacare doesn’t convince you we have an oligarchy… I don’t know what will.


        6. Patrick, you are buying into the left/right paradigm as a fulcrum for all things political. You can only press that argument for so long before it gets thin like pastry dough. FDR is the starting point preferred by conservatives for all things evil. They tend to ignore flaws coming before as they do not fit nicely into their narrative. One man–a ‘tyrant’–is more easily explained. Could be because Roosevelt was in power too long and his ‘leftist’ (countering hard-core-right-wing-ubercapitalism) administration became a tempting target for purely political gamesmanship. Don’t be one-dimensional in your thinking.

          Don’t lump New Deal initiatives with runaway medical costs. As they say in Texas, “That old dog won’t hunt.” Medicare works but, like any program, it reflects the times and is only valid to the degree a society supports it. The Social Security account has been raided. Who started that rape? I heard it was during the LBJ administration. But maybe that is in error. The public is being fleeced; time to pin down the culprits and not throw stones in a circular shoot-out.

        7. “Don’t lump New Deal initiatives with runaway medical costs. As they say in Texas, “That old dog won’t hunt.” Medicare works but, like any program, it reflects the times and is only valid to the degree a society supports it.”

          Marilyn, I like your comments here, I want you to know, even though I write you back mostly to chastise them. I must do so once again. This is a jumble of wrong thinking.

          As I stated above, Franklin Roosevelt started it, inadvertently, with his wage and price controls. I despise him for tricking Japan into attacking us, and for lots of other of his horrible behaviors, but it was accidental that he created the insane idea that employers buy insurance for their employees. It is not one of his intentional acts of evil. Intentional or not, we’re stuck with it.

          You seem to confuse Roosevelt’s reign of destruction (the “New Deal”) with Johnson’s. But that’s finet; all Johnson did was amplify the diabolical trend. You say that Johnson’s baby, Medicare, “works.” Well Laurence Kotlikoff would disagree (I won’t link to him, because I’m about to add a more important link, and in my experience here, two links send you to “moderation,” which might take many hours). He counts the true national debt of America at $205 TRILLION, most of which is Medicare. It is a hopelessly broken system. It should never have been created, because it could never possibly work. It will crash and burn. It WILL crash and burn. It can’t be fixed.

          It is the combination of these two horrible things that created the irrational explosion in the price of medical services–and also the strange, equally irrational system by which those services are now accessed in this country.

          Now, for the link that’s more important:

          The state is our enemy. In an ideal world, we’d be able to have language that makes that clear: the “left” loves the state, and wants Orwell’s warning to be made reality–1984 is the goal of the left; the “right” wants the kind of freedom Jeremiah Johnson knew: no state at all. We don’t have that; what passes for the “right” in our era is just a pale reflection of the ultra-statist left. Those who wish to see freedom replace the state have no voice at all. The language itself excludes us.

          But then, that’s the whole idea of Newspeak, in a nutshell.

        8. My plan is safe this year, who knows about next year. If I was forced to go on the government plan, we would go bankrupt and our children would be denied the inheritance we worked so hard to amass and hope if we cannot enjoy it in our later years that it would help them get their heads above water.

        9. Hi Kathy,

          Is the data from Wikipedia suspect?

          In that case, maybe this will carry a bit more weight for you:

          Yes, a website by actual doctors in the Canadian healthcare system, advocating for that system. I’m almost certain that most of their claims are ‘factual.’ Have a look. But not that it’s likely to make much of an impression on a mind already made up on the issue, regardless of what the facts may be. A good place to start on that website might be here, assuming that you might be interested in the ‘truth’ of the matter:

          As for quoting “The Globe and Mail” as an authority to be trusted to print the unvarnished and unbiased comparative truth about healthcare in Canada as compared to that in the U.S., especially coming from someone such as yourself, who claims to have a deep distrust of the MSM — well, that is kind of funny in the way that I myself quoted Wikipedia, isn’t? Looks like we are all having a very good laugh.

          Still, I am willing to bet that healthcare in Canada is more equitably accessible than it is in the U.S. And though I may be paying, as you put it, taxes out my wazoo, I just have to read your posts, here, on the premiums you pay for what turns out to be, on your own admission, grossly inadequate coverage for the care that the average American citizen receives, and I can tell you that my tax bill, which covers “all” of my healthcare expenses and much else besides, regardless of how much money I earn, either as a poor person or a rich man, is much less than your ‘premiums’ to your corporate private insurers. And I’m also pretty sure that apart from your healthcare premiums, you also receive a tax bill, although one that is doubtlessly a hell of a lot smaller than mine. But if you add the cost of your healthcare premiums for your inadequate healthcare coverage to your miniscule tax obligation, do you pay less or more than the average Canadian does for services received? I have a pretty good hunch of what the answer actually is in spite of the propaganda spouted by the likes of “The Globe and Mail.” Whatever Americans are made to believe, the ‘public’ option, here, in Canada, is both more affordable and equitable, however you slice and dice the issue.

          You write: “When my monthly healthcare insurance premium is more than my mortgage payment and does not cover the first $12,000 of my medical costs and threatens to bankrupt me in the event of a major medical event with 40% of the bill, this sir is slavery.”

          Yup. I have to agree: that is slavery. It’s also the ‘enforcement’ of the private corporation’s ‘right’ to make a ‘profit,’ is it not? And that would be the ‘private,’ as opposed to the ‘public,’ option, right?

          Yes, where indeed will ‘all’ the Canadians go once your current for-profit healthcare system is dismantled? Where they have mercifully been going for the last 40 or so years. Or at least that is the hope of the average Canadian if not that of the rich one. And still, for the rich Canadian, there is always America, where, if he is rich enough, he can even elbow his way ahead of tax-and-premium paying Americans. (I don’t know, but if I were an American citizen, something of that situation would irritate me to no end. Something ain’t right, here — regardless of what you may think, Kathy.)

        10. Norm I really do not give a rats arse on how great things are in Canada. My employer paid plan is exceptional and I have no concerns this year. My heart goes out to those, especially those with cancer, whose plans are cancelled, although they have always paid on time, their treatments are cancelled 1/1/14. My upbringing demanded I was to stand up for those with no voice and so I now SHOUT! The premise of this plan was to give healthcare to those in need, not to take it away from those who found the means to pay for it!

        11. Kathy,

          Thank goodness your company’s provided plan is still in effect. But for those other 100+ MILLION Americans that don’t have such a luxury, they might be a bit jealous, especially considering that the insurance company you keep praising over and over (suggesting such a middle man provides better service and health than the Single Payer counterpart in Canada) is simply going to rake in even more profits and are allowed to give less “insurance”.

          I owned a private business for over a decade. Small company for sure.

          At the end, I was paying $1200/month with a $5K deductible and huge out of pocket expenses.

          Three years in a row I spent over $23K/year until I was bankrupt.

          Take that and mulitply it by 10 and you will see what is coming.

          I suggest you rethink your stance for plainly said, you are wrong. Period.

        12. BMan – Life is all about choices, I worked at organizations that provided health care as that was important for me, being a single parent. For sure I am blessed to of had those options and a husband with the same notion now. The opportunities today are more sparse, but do not think the health care insurers are to be blamed for this mess. When they tell me pay $25,ooo and we will only cover 60% in a major event, I will say no thank you!

        13. Smile… guess you never heard of the Canadian woman who was going to deliver quads and not a mere 4 neo natal intensive care beds could be found in ALL of Canada. Just a short trip over the border to a some small hospital in the great state of Montana, USA and volia, the quads could be delivered. Yeah, sure, some great system Canada has. Long waits and shortages and taxes out the wazoo.

        14. Norm’s reply to me up above included this: “but you do not state the categories of the “urgencies” of the medical interventions at hand, nor do you direct me to any “documented” source(s) for your claim. Could you specify what kinds of medical cases are routinely deferred in Canada for months and years, and where can I verify for myself the information that backs up your claims?”

          It sometimes seems that documentation along these lines is so frequently encountered that one wonders how anyone could deny it? Why bother dredging up the obvious, here and now? Kath’s anecdote is so typical as to be boring–if it wasn’t so sad. We read such accounts every day.

          So, rather than produce the documents you certainly already know about (us dumb Americans are supposed to just believe you, I guess) I’ll give
          you a movie review, written by a Canadian, about a Canadian film on the subject (hint: it won the Oscar, Norm):

      2. i think they can still go to thailand to receive medical care. for most diseases no care at all would be better than the “care” allopaths give one at a hospital these days. accidents and injury are the exception. I am in no way agreeing with mark btw.

    2. Mark said: “The USA cannot take the lead in doing so because the people have been indoctrinated by American power to be deluded, intellectually cowardly, and morally corrupt.”

      I would agree with that if you were to add the words “those in” and make the sentence look like this;

      “The USA cannot take the lead in doing so because the people have been indoctrinated by those in power in America to be deluded, intellectually cowardly, and morally corrupt.”

      Also I would ask, have you succeeded in avoiding being deluded and morally corrupt? If so, how?

  4. Whether I am intellectually or morally corrupt, Violeta, you have to decide for yourself, but I am certainly deluded by American power, or, as you would put it, by those in power. I don’t think it is possible to avoid it entirely. For example, James was instrumental in exposing the Sandy Hook hoax, but I didn’t believe that a pseudo-homicide of this kind would be implemented until I saw the video by Sofia that he presented.

    We simply don’t have the conceptions and preconceptions needed to understand these events. Certain homicidal Orwellian conspiracies are Shock&Awe advertising campaigns, as commenter Musings pointed out, that are intended to change the consciousness of the American people, and to direct the power consensus. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 fall in this category, and the JFK assassination can be conceived as a failed Shock&Awe event, since it didn’t lead to a nuclear first strike.

    Sandy Hook was also a Shock&Awe event, intended to reinforce the need to take the guns away from the American people. Not only was the coverup Orwellian, but so was the initial event itself. I still find it difficult to get my mind around, and we are lucky to have truthers like James who courageously do their jobs even when it violates the delusive American consensus.

    But delusion deludes, and I am no different from anyone else. However I have been involved for many years in considering the ideological revolution currently in historical progress, and so have a different perspective than the traditional American perspective.

    1. As for moral and intellectual corruption of anyone else, that’s none of my business. But yeah, everyone is most likely to some extent deluded by whoever is creating the delusions. I guess we all know someone, though, who won’t even consider that they are being deceived despite superior evidence to the contrary.

      I would just like to say that with respect to the Judaism, Christianity, and Islam religions causing wars today, I don’t think it’s actually people who hold to the teachings of those religions that are causing the problems, but that the religions are being used as false reasons for war by false fronts. In other words, another deception. But I do see the false religious front people deceiving the masses into believing what they say are reasons for war and fighting. Similar to the crusades. We look back and say we would never do that, but that’s what we are being led through deception into believing is the right thing to do.

  5. that’s just mind blowing that this was written in 1920, I thought for sure it was written within the last 10 years until I read the part about German sympathizers, then I knew it was old.

  6. This unaffordable health care scam is the biggest delusion our country has ever seen. If the evil doers have their way, more people will lose their healthcare than will get it, and the majority of the getters will be added to the free Medicaid program. It was passed using unethical senate rules, by democrats only and has been propped up by a series of lies that has hoodwinked a good part of the population. Perhaps if government workers, unions and big business [>5,000 employees] had not been exempted and shared the cost, it might have been doable. What were the lies? 1) If you like your plan, you can keep your plan, PERIOD. 2) If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, PERIOD. 3) If you like your hospital, you can keep your hospital. {Cancer patients often go to other states for their expert treatment, not allowed!} 4) The costs will be reduced by $2,500 per family. 5) The un-insured or medicare patients will get worse care as doctors will no longer be able to stay in business given the unbelievably tedious and low paying government system by serving them. The latest news from the WSJ is that 50,000 have signed up. Breitbart reports 4.5 million have received cancellation notices, not sure if that figure should be multiplied by the number of people those plans may covered. Believe they were hoping we would not pay attention to the lowly middle class being reamed right now and this ponzi scheme would creep right in after the next election with the employer mandate kicking in. Not to mention this is a huge job killer, employers are keeping their roles under 50 and making previously full time workers part timers to avoid the penalties. Here no less than the NYT allows a liberal’s lament on how this plan is hurting a single mother. Note all the lambasting she is getting for complaining and how this is somehow all the republicans and tea parties fault!

  7. Out of desperation last year, I drove two thousand miles to begin a new job in Chicago that paid very little. Still, it was a job, and I need one badly. I Googled Craigslist from the road to rent a basement room which would be only a short bus ride to my new employer. The ’20’s bungalow was a disaster. It was occupied by an unemployed hoarder – an elderly spinster woman who had once served as an Executive Secretary to a CEO in the John Hancock building.

    We soon had to move, due to foreclosure, and she turned to me for help with the monumental packing and moving tasks. I counted over 60 pair of black high heels, dozens of black skirts, and enough jewelry and make-up to stock a large boutique.

    I gently encouraged her to pair down what I thought were useless items, especially her old dictation books and notebooks. I thought it a sad lunacy that she continued to practice these skills, convinced that dictation would give her an edge on her endless job hunting forays.

    She was right, and I was wrong. A group of mayors hired her, thrilled to find someone experienced in dictation and typing. They chose to return to snail mail with no internet communication whatsoever. Her income, sadly is three times mine.

    Not everyone has caved in to the NSA, and I choose to remain optimistic. Bad laws, bad leaders and bad institutions come and go, but our Constitution reminds of of our inherent rights. HL Menken, and my nutty old friend are still very relevant.

  8. If one is to change America to Australia, in the “Land of the Docile and Unfree “, it would apply equally here. Cheers, Kevin Stiller, OZ.

  9. (note: before you get too impressed with American medical practice, better look over these stats by Jon Rappoport on his nomorefakenews site. Under the theme, Obamacare will destroy human life, JR has been putting out projections for the new program and they aren’t pretty):
    US politics lives and thrives on PR, and PR makes its money from empty generalizations and promises. In the medical arena, it’s all about “better care for all,” “humane concern for everyone,” “breakthroughs coming soon,” “money for more research,” etc.

    This has nothing to do with the actual effects of the system. It has nothing to do with reality.

    Well, here is the reality. By the most conservative estimate, the US medical system kills 2,250,000 people per decade.

    That’s the system that’s heading for massive expansion under Obamacare.
    (Rappoport breaks it down statistically, mistake by mistake in other reports.)

  10. …bureaucrats, these pharmaceutical string-pullers behind the scenes. Obamacare is right up their alley. It’s about control, so it’s an answer to their prayers.

    So what do we know about their mainstream medicine, the hospital-based drug-addled modern version?

    On July 26, 2000, the Journal of theAmerican Medical Association published a landmark paper by Dr. Barbara Starfield (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health), “Is US health really the best in the world?” In it, Starfield revealed what many people inside the medical establishment already knew: every year, like clockwork, the medical system was killing huge numbers of people.

    Each year in the US, as Dr. Starfield reported, there are:

    12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgeries;

    7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals;

    20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals;

    80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitals;

    106,000 deaths from FDA-approved correctly prescribed medicines.

    The total of medically-caused deaths in the US every year is 225,000. (a conservative estimate)

    This makes the medical system the third leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer.

    In the wake of Starfield’s devastating report, other facts came to light: 2.1 million people in America, every year, are hospitalized as a result of reactions to FDA-approved medicines. Annually, 36 million serious adverse reactions to those drugs occur.

  11. Useful stats, Norm, of Canada vs USA medicine. I’ve seen similar from other countries. The right wing, which includes both Patrick and Kathy, simply supports the American plutocracy in preventing the American people from getting adequate medical care. Current American medical care is horrendous.

    My daughter ate bad shushi a few months ago and was suffering from food poisoning. I took her to an emergency room in the local hospital near LA. She was there for an hour and half.

    the charge was $8,500, of which 90% was covered by our insurance. We owed them $850 beside a copay, which we had to pay. The woman told me that the charge was $3000 before any care was administered. This is the medical system that the Tea Party shut down the American government to avoid changing.

    The system stays intact by right wing truth organs lying about it, including such whoppers as the American medical system is the best in the world. The American people don’t know the stats, and don’t know who to trust, and this is true not only of the medical system, but of all American institutions.

    the first thing that has to be changed in not the medical system, but the truth system. How this institutional change can be accomplished I don’t know, but the first problem is the ideological change. The major problem, as is usually the case in ideological change, is not that people don’t know, or don’t know they don’t know, but don’t want to know.

    I stayed on the Canadian west coast for a while years ago, and the problem is not nearly so bad there. But as in the USA, I fear it will get worse.

    1. Hi Mark,

      In most ways, the dominant mindset in Canada is hardly distinguishable from that of the U.S. And so like you, I also fear that the ideological context will get worse before it gets better, if ever.

      People are quite deliberately being misinformed and misdirected by their corporate masters and, therefore, cannot easily see their way clear to their own interests.

      The times are already dark and getting darker — or so it seems. It is really quite depressing at times.

      And yes, it isn’t only that people don’t know.

      To dig myself out from beneath the many layers of delusions being heaped upon me daily, I really need to want to dig myself out. Otherwise, I must remain buried, docile and unfree. The struggle cannot but be both with myself and others, concurrently.

    1. “including such whoppers as the American medical system is the best in the world.” Please do enlighten me, sir if not the USA, where would I get the best health care?

      1. Oh, and Kathy, one question: Mark wrote that the ‘woman’ requested $3000.00 before care was administered. What if Mark had not had the means of providing that fee? Just curious.

      2. Dr. Bill Roy on “the best healthcare system in the world:”

        A mere sample to entice you:

        “A 2002 study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science estimates conservatively that 18,000 people died in 2000 because they did not have health insurance. The IOM further concluded “137,000 people died from 2000 through 2006 because they lacked health insurance, including 22,000 people in 2006.” ”

        But perhaps the undeserving poor are, well, just undeserving.

        The article is ancient, however: 2009. But wait, Mencken’s article was written in . . .

  12. Although Kathy is a Republican, I contend that it is the Dem party that is most responsible for her Tea Party ideology, which is held, astonishingly, by a fourth to a third of Americans, and about half of Repubs. The reason is that the Dems, also mostly financed by the plutocracy of billionaires, multi-billionaires, and aspiring billionaires, TOLERATES the kind of drivel that drives American mainstream ideology, effectively de-politicizing and ideological disarming the most of American population of a people’s ideology.

    The two parties play good cop, bad cop, the Repubs purveying anti-people values and policies through the media, schools, universities, and churches, and the Dems tacitly supporting them, while evading confronting them effectively. The opposition ideology of the USA is liberalism in a socialist world, and I contend that socialism is inadequate for solving our national and world problems. It’s too conservative.

    How can so many Americans identify with values and policies that are economically against their own interests? You have to have Faith. Which Mark Twain defined as believing something you know isn’t true. Americans are much more religious than Europeans, which is why our institutions are so ideological backward, along with our consciousness.
    The Dems do not attack religion, which is led by the Southern churches recently, and it forms the ideological basis of the Repubs among the rank and file.

    It is the TOLERATION of anti-people delusion that has made America what it is today. In past decades the media would print jounalists like Mencken, a political conservative but scathing about Southern religion, or Mr Dooley, a brilliant satire in the papers done in Irish dialect. Truthers like Mark Twain founded the Anti-Empire league. No more. The simple truth that subverts the anti-people delusion of Americans is ideological illegitimate–Un-American–and is ideologically repressed in the American truth organs. The very term ‘ideology’ is stigmatized, like ‘conspiracy.’

    So we get people like Kathy, who, you will note, is not particularly stupid.
    She has just not been confronted with ideology that is common in other countries. And this is true of Americans in general. Making us docile and enslaved to whatever anti-people drivel the plutocratic media feeds us. And just as it legitimated the Palmer raids that Mencken argued against, it will legitimate the Terrorist state being imposed on us, under the Proclaimed guise of Defending us against Terrorism. And being docile and enslaved to ideology that legitimates the plutocratic powerful, we will TOLERATE it.

  13. American health care (or lack thereof) has long been on my list of things to address going back 35 or more years. One question missing from the discussion here is why are our medical costs so high? Perhaps I can touch on several reasons. This is my own opinion but we do need a professional assessment to clear the cobwebs.

    Is high tech analysis that good? Those new machines are costly; When did big pharma move into the arena and start calling the shots? New hospitals are now serviced by all lmanner of extraneous high-end and unnecessary enticements to lure in ‘customers.’ They seem more like exclusive spa getaways. When did medicine become a commodity, rather than a crucial community service? Who ever thought medical practice for profit (exploding profit) was a sound medical-delivery system?

    (See posted statistics on deaths attributed directly to poor medical practice above.)

    Somewhere, we lost our way; our moral compass is off true north. Poor medical service is just one symptom of a befuddled society. Who knew?

    1. “One question missing from the discussion here is why are our medical costs so high?”

      Actually, Marilyn, I did just that, up above (the seventh comment down at this point in time).

    1. By reduce do you mean softly eliminate them? To reduce cancer:
      1) you are what you eat. Nutrition is key. 2) Take away the incentives for “cancer” treatment, i.e., stop throwing money into pointless research that goes nowhere and put that money into on-the-ground prevention.

      Clean air, clean water, uncontaminated food wouldn’t hoit, either.

      The cancer industry has been coasting on public money for decades with no cure and no end in sight–just bigger hospitals devoted to ‘cures.’
      Burn, cut, poison is the remedy. You have a fifty-fifty chance of surviving the disease if you stay home and self-treat with alternative protocols. Ask practitioners of alternative medicine for their
      analysis on this monstrosity modern medicine has created.

      1. Well, as an above poster declared me and people of my ilk of being anti-people, think this is the essence of being just that, take away the hope of beating cancer by eliminating the availability of the latest technology and their doctors who have dedicated their lives to doing just that. These are not free loaders, these are people paying their way and now not only is it not affordable, it is not available PERIOD. Have known cancer survivors and they loved every blessed day given them as a bonus and taught all those touched by their lives valuable lessons on what is important in life. Yes, our poisoned environment is causing it and how much of that is intentional to reduce the population? Today I would say that I would not go through all the treatments and just kill myself if given a deadly diagnosis. Something tells me I would change my mind. Would I be willing to try an experimental therapy that may work or perhaps lead to the cure? Probably and why not?

  14. “So we get people like Kathy, who, you will note, is not particularly stupid. She has just not been confronted with ideology that is common in other countries. ”

    So, Mark, you have made the good woman’s acquaintance, and know her life history. Bully for you. But the rest of us, who have no idea who she is, are required to rely only on what she has written here, and based on that, I find your personal insight into her mind quite surprising. The thing is, she and I seem to think along very similar lines–yet what you say about her could not remotely be said about me (I know myself intimately, you know).

    Perhaps you might consider (in my case, not hers, since you know her personally) the possibility that you are wrong about these matters, that the deep hole the post-Western world has dug for itself–the “ideology that is common in other countries”–is a BAD thing, that empowering the state and ensconcing the technocracy is the true source of our troubles, and that doubling down on that bad bet at this point is a VERY poor decision. People like myself (and Kathy, too, poor, lucky, thing, who although she failed to examine the “ideology that is common in other countries,” astonishingly, came up with the correct diagnosis of what is wrong with this fallen world) have observed the sad state of the world, and those of us who have dedicated many long years to understanding the history of how we got here (I wrote a book about it, when I figured it out), come up with an exactly different diagnosis and prescription for what ails this sadly failing world. It’s not that we’re uninformed; it’s that we disagree with you. Food for thought, buddy.

  15. Kathy’s views are important because there are literally tens of millions of Americans who think like her, and helped shut down the country a few weeks ago. She is right that Obamacare is bad, but for the wrong reasons which leads to anti-people solutions. And this is because Dems do not argue effectively with right wingers because they are restricted by American ideology.

    Obamacare is a medical counterrevolution which is aimed at dismantled the employer-based medical system, bad enough as it is, and instituting a worse system, of individuals powerless against giant corporations. They will gouge the people financially and provide few medical treatment, decreasing the life expectancy of the American population. In this sense Kathy is quite right about ‘death panels.’

    This will eventually eliminate federal and state government medical plans as well, and cut about 20$ billions of government subsidies to hospitals for cancer and other life-saving treatments. Those people will die earlier than if they had adequate medical care.

    The next step is to cut government based Medicare, cutting $700 billion from the elderly and disabled in the next decade. But the attack against this anti-people program does not come from the left, it comes from the right, since the pluts who fund it don’t want ANY government medical care for the population. They want the old and sick to die and stop wasting the money that they could expropriate. And American life expectancy is already beginning to decline, as opposed to the rates in almost all other countries in the world.

    The basic problem, as I continue to state, is not the medical system. Just as the financial irrationality, or the war irrationally are not the financial or military systems. The basic problem is the TRUTH system, the Free Press and other truth institutions owned and managed by the plutocracy and their professional agents. The ideology of the American people are so obfuscated because we have no institutions telling the simple truth about people and power from the perspective of people, rather than power.

    So we have to rely on a few courageous professionals like James, and this is not enough. The media no longer permits Menckens or Mr Dooleys or Mark Twains to hold forth, and that was only liberalism. The pluts have morphed from multimillionaires to multibillionaires and we do not have the institutions to control them. So the ideological world-view of the American people are obfuscated, and we therefore can’t unite effectively to oppose plutocratic American power.

  16. We have come full circle and find a consensus, we have not been told the truth and our best interests were never a concern of the elite. This is what is different about the unaffordable hca, the lies were so blatant and repeated so often, many from all factions, even the media, are in shock. Of course not those among us who were aware and have been sounding the warning horn all along. The elections would of had different outcomes had the truth been known and I will remain optimistic the liars will be booted out in the future. Term limits would be a wonderful thing! There was no government shutdown, another lie. Sure lots of effort went into closing down open air monuments with ridiculous barrycades and unneeded manpower, and denying death benefits of families of recently deceased veterans. The congress and senate passed a measure to guarantee the fallen vets and their families would be treated with the respect they deserved, but some unknown lawyer said it wasn’t worded properly. Only non-essential government workers got a paid vacation and are now suing for double pay as there was a delay. Perhaps we need to be done with all non-essential people and agencies! The federal debt mysteriously remained the same for many months and jumped 500 billion a few days after the shutdown.

  17. What Kathy really means is that she hopes the Dem liars will be kicked out and the Repub liars Elected in their place. The Electoral system of Our Democracy has become a complete bait and switch operation, with the candidates dressing well, looking good, ever smiling, telling the people some of what they want to hear, and then promoting the corporate policies of the lobbyists of the plutocracy once in office.

    Reasonable and humane policies, such as government medical care, would require taxing the rich and corporations who finance the candidates, and consequently is off the table. A shrinking audience of deluded Repubs and Dems support a political system that is over two centuries old and is increasingly obsolete. Obama is installing an Orwellian terrorist state, and his Repub counterpart would do the same.

    The monstrous and increasing inequality, supported by both parties, can only be maintained by an increasing police state, consisting of both government and Private corporations. The whole thing can only be legitimated by increasing delusion, deceit, ideological repression, and irrationality.

    The Repub leaders lie to the Repub rank and file in the same way that the Dem leaders lie to the Dem rank and file. The Repubs will prevent a reasonable solution to the health problem in the same way that the Dem leaders destroyed the peace movement by coopting its leaders. The traditional parties provide no effective solutions, and are restricted by American ideology from telling the simple truth.

    We cannot develop new institutions until a sufficient number of persons understand the Un-American truth to create the necessary consensus to enable us to begin to form them. The simple truth will subvert traditional American religion, traditional American racism, traditional American Patriotism, and traditional American violence, largely directed against non-White people historically, but now increasingly directed against Whites as well.

    1. You can quit explaining to the folks what Kathy knows or does not know, or what she really means, they are quite capable of drawing their own conclusions. In case you have not noticed, many of us are tired of all the blather blaming one party or another, we are all Americans and want what is best for our country. One party did offer many fixes that were turned down without consideration and indeed were demonized for even trying to improve the piece of crap we are dealing with now. Unless they start working together to fix this, which is a possibility as they would like to return after the next election, those not acknowledging their failure will be replaced. It is true, if they have not fixed this mess, the only hope is that one party has control of the congress and the senate, I will not be supporting one incumbent representative who has proven himself to be a war monger. By the way, as the unaffordable hca is a known job killer, is it not a racist law as we all know which segments of the population are suffering the most with no opportunity for employment?

  18. I have a friend, a professional with quite a bit of responsibility. He just wrote in a memorandum to a trade association thanking veterans for their service to our great country and that we enjoy tremendous freedoms thanks to them.

    I was flabbergasted. The idea that we have tremendous freedoms is almost comical if the reality wasn’t so painfully the opposite. And the idea that we are fighting wars to protect freedom at home even more so.

    What should have been written was a thanks for their military service. We know their heart is in the right place, despite the fact the military is now the enforcement arm of a terrorist syndicate that runs “our government.”

    No one wants to hear the truth. Better that they remain asleep until the hammer falls. They are lost to reason.

  19. Is it really better that they remain asleep, Hollow Point. Americans don’t want to hear the simple reality based truth because it conflicts with the American ideology of Freedom&Democracy with which they emotionally identify. So they don’t tell the truth, even to themselves. They withdraw from the power process and become de-politicized, allowing the mulitlbillionaires to control the government and to rule and drive the American people into the ground.

    The mainstream right is deceived by Fox News and the mainstream left is deceived by the NY Times, which supports wars, apartheid Israel, and China bashing. The Tea Party is financed by the multibillionaire Koch brothers and the Democratic MoveOn is financed by the multibillionaire currency speculator Soros. They both are against taxing the rich and corporations, which puts the tax burden entirely on the people. They are increasingly against government, against law for themselves, against taxes.

    Is it really better that Americans remain asleep. Democracy is based on the reality-based truth. If the people are deluded and asleep because the reality based truth is too painful to acknowledge, that we would have to acknowlege that we have been duped all of our lives by power, there is no end to the abyss in which we will fall. People have to wake up, because they cannot defend us while they sleep. Waking people up is an historical process, but there is no alternative.

    Our basic survival is at stake. We are living in a world of climate change, of the threat of the use of thermonuclear weapons that we don’t want to face, of new techniques of Orwellian duplicity and terror. If we want a livable country for our children and grandchildren, a livable world, we have to endure the trauma of recognizing the simple historical truth. It is the first basic step to transforming political reality.

  20. Not sure why I am finding some amount of satisfaction in seeing the dimwits lamenting about the pain of this unaffordable hca and am feeling a bit guilty. Was surprised the Huffington Post had a semi true story about this debacle and let me and many others LAMBAST them for their lack of reporting the truth. And here we have another sad story about a black college who is forced to cancel their affordable health care program….

    1. It does make me wonder, though, why all of a sudden they are “reporting the truth” about the hca. Any dimwit could have seen it’s “weak points” before it’s enforcement. Also, any arm of the media can give a positive or negative slant to anything. To me it seems as if they are just following a script. I just can’t figure out why the turn in the plot.

    1. That’s only partially true, Mark. The press has acted as a praetorian guard for this White House from the start, and no matter how atrocious this regime’s acts, the press always runs interference for it. They called Reagan the “teflon” president; this one makes that look like a joke.

      So any pain the MSM and the left in general finally is forced to feel, as a result of its own shameless charade, does cause a warm glow of pleasure, for those of us who have stared with incredulity, astonished that such a comprehensive hoax could be pulled off. The promoters of this regime deserve all the pain they get.

      But its more than that. It is the satisfaction that comes when the truth is finally allowed to crack through the bubble, and the morons who believed the lie, and strutted about like proud peacocks in smug self-satisfaction in their sad delusion, finally start to detect that they were wrong. When truth is finally told after long years of endless lies, there is a natural joy that surrounds it; the fact that the liars are shamed, and pained, is secondary.

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