11 November 2010

11/11 thoughts and ponderings

First, as is the tradition here on Veteran's/Remembrance day, thanks to all the vets, past and present, American and allied, all who served in peace and war. Without your efforts the world is a much darker place.

Also as usual, the Armed Forces Medley. You can watch it or not as you wish.

And a piece from north of the border. A bit long, but I think it captures something of the feel of the day.

But as I look around the nation today, I wonder if we didn't sell our vets out. The place is a mess. $14 trillion in debt. A weak economy. Not a lot of decent jobs out there for people to make a living. Two political parties, one thinking we need to adopt the socialist system, the other thinking George Washington climbed Mount Katahdin and received the Constitution from God Himself. And for the most part, I wouldn't let most of our leadership run a hot dog stand. We have a surfeit of politicians, and an appalling lack of statesmen (on both sides).

The power and influence we used to have in the world seems to be a pale shadow of what it once was. Yes, we have enough firepower to remove a good portion of life on Earth, but we've become a nation that most nations generally ignore. We're the biggest foreign aid donor on the planet ($66 billion of direct government aid in 2007, I don't know, maybe $15 billion in private aid and who knows how much volunteer time), giving vast sums to people that by and large I think would rather see us gone.

It almost feels like we're drifting aimlessly as a nation. We have no goal-no frontiers to conquer, no race to the moon, no Axis to defeat. We have plenty of things we could do, and no political will to do them.

I miss my country, the place that once was or maybe never was. I miss the America where a man could get a decent job and provide for his family. I miss the America where people could worship how they wanted and let others worship in their own way. I miss the America where people valued hard work, self-reliance, and thrift, and hated to take charity. I miss the America that wasn't fueled by greed. I miss the America where a person could start his own business and not have it regulated to death by those who never had to make a deadline or meet a payroll. I miss the America where people could walk around at night, and criminals were punished instead of their victims. I miss the America that could dream, build, and create.

In many ways I feel like I'm part of the last generation of Americans. I have the sick feeling that I'm watching the beginning of the end of this nation. It might be that this is the Chinese Century after all. Perhaps they'll be kind enough to us to let us fade like the British empire did, and not repossess the country.

I don't know, really. I'm just a simpleton Midwest river rat who in all probability has a very small and parochial worldview. Quite possibly in addition to thanking our veterans, we should apologize to them for screwing up the land that they fought for. I wonder if there were any Romans that scribbled something on parchment a couple of millenia ago that might have been similar to this?

yankeedog out.


  1. I am sorry you feel so despondent about your cxountry

  2. Barnesy-Ah, the place is a mess. Too much to be done and not enough smarts and gumption to do it.