The End Of Empire Balls

Gee, when he puts it that way it doesn't sound so good. Mark Steyn with another B-12 shot for the morale.
In 2009, the United States spent about $665 billion on its military, the Chinese about $99 billion. If Beijing continues to buy American debt at the rate it has in recent years, then within a half-decade or so U.S. interest payments on that debt will be covering the entire cost of the Chinese military. This year, the Pentagon issued an alarming report to Congress on Beijing’s massive military build-up, including new missiles, upgraded bombers, and an aircraft-carrier R&D program intended to challenge American dominance in the Pacific. What the report didn’t mention is who’s paying for it. Answer: Mr. and Mrs. America. Within the next five years, the People’s Liberation Army, which is the largest employer on the planet, bigger even than the U.S. Department of Community-Organizer Grant Applications, will be entirely funded by U.S. taxpayers. When they take Taiwan, suburban families in Connecticut and small businesses in Idaho will have paid for it.
 And this is just the cheerful opener of the piece. He refers to an episode at Cambridge, in which the organizers of an "Empire Ball," with a Victorian theme, had to be renamed because "anti-fascists" denounced the word empire as redolent of slavery. So they dropped the word empire. Says Steyn:
it would make more sense to remove the word “balls.”
A wee bit more:

It’s interesting to learn that “anti-fascism” now means attacking the British Empire, which stood alone against fascism in that critical year between the fall of France and Germany’s invasion of Russia. And it’s even sadder to have to point out the most obvious fatuity in those “anti-fascist groups” litany of evil—“the British Empire’s association with slavery.” The British Empire’s principal association with slavery is that it abolished it. Before William Wilberforce, the British Parliament, and the brave men of the Royal Navy took up the issue, slavery was an institution regarded by all cultures around the planet as as permanent a feature of life as the earth and sky. Britain expunged it from most of the globe.
It is pathetic but unsurprising how ignorant all these brave “anti-fascists” are. But there is a lesson here not just for Britain but for the rest of us, too: When a society loses its memory, it descends inevitably into dementia.
...and into the total loss of personal liberty.

This is why The King's Speech is an important cultural achievement by the way. (How's that for an abrupt segue?) No doubt what interests the story-teller is the relationship between the king & the commoner. But simply by telling that story, there is so much savor of honor, courage, self-sacrifice, patriotism...and the self-indulgent "heart wants what it wants" ethic of the age as embodied by King Edward VIII looks so small (I would say niggardly, but would run the risk of being misunderstood) by comparison. Wonderful story, wonderful performances....but what I most felt was two hours of relief from the crappy culture.