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.
It was an exercise in eugenics / natural selection. The weak and submissive Hebrews who lived in comfortable slavery in Egypt all died of old age and / or hardships during those 40 years. A new generation of hard core free men willing and able to fight for their freedom grew up wandering the desert - then won themselves a kingdom.
I worry we may be entering an eugenics / natural selection phase.
I always have included Goldie, as she was known in Milwaukee where she was born and brought up, in my personal pantheon of Great Women of History, along with Elinor of Aguitaine and Maggie Thatcher, Diane de Poitiers.
Tom, too bad Goldie will never know about that Big offshore natural gas field, Leviathan, I think its name is.
jma: She was one smart broad with cast iron balls under her dress.
Cilla Mitchell, Galveston Texas
I wonder if it wasn't lucky for Israel. Oil wealth doesn't seem to have done much good in the Middle East. Only a tiny fraction of the population ever learn to add any value to the process of extracting it, and even then usually by staying in hock to foreign powers. The few who learn the trick then turn the rest of the country into dependent clients. Countries seem to do best when their wealth is in a form that requires some cooperation from the whole population to develop. That way it's harder for a little clot of armed oligarchs to hold everyone else hostage.