We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere—in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.
We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.
And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.
I very much enjoy the annual tradition. That one was written about 50 years ago and still reads as fresh today by Vermont Royster, their editor at the time.
I hope you reprint the XMAS as well. reminds me to have hope and not the Obama kind but hope for free men and free markets.
The blessings of liberty have been far more important than the blessings of the land. France's soil was as fertile in 1650 as in 1850, but its people were more free (though not yet truly free) and they produced far more. England's soil was as fertile in 1200 as in 1900, but its people were freer and they produced far more. India is blessed by nature and has generally been cursed by her governments, so her people are poor. Being more free now than 30 years ago, they are less poor now -- with a larger population -- than they were 30 years ago.
Why, exactly, do the "progressives" want us to give that up? How are we to provide goods for the poor of Africa when our own production is drying up due to their foolish policies?