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.
Taking a little break from cleaning the basement, which has now dried out but still smells musty. I had to hose down and sun-dry tons of hunting and fishing gear. Mold on my Filson wax trousers and chaps, but it could be hosed off.
Later, will trim some hedges. Then, take a needed shower, and go to a big annual 4th barbecue party with the reading of the Declaration followed by bbq pork, squid salad, shrimp risotto, lobsters, and burgers, tons of different salads and pies including rhubarb - my favorite - and real cocktails too. Hope it doesn't rain again, but a t-storm will probably blow through. It always does, as if to remind us of the battles for freedom. God's fireworks make man's fireworks seem small.
Is Afghanistan "winnable"? Matthew Parris doubts it. Afg. isn't a country, except in name only. So what is there to win? Afg, it seems to me, is an attempt at nation-building where there never was a nation. A tall order.
Powell may be a confused person [seems that way] but you are not. You know what you know and you know what you think. That's the beginning of all wisdom.
And don't worry, what gets wet eventually dries. We know that. We were flooded out of our house by Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. Took five months and some money to get back in. Now here we are ... dry as a bone. For the time being.
Sure keeps you on your toes, doesn't it? Life I mean. Happy Fourth.
1. Colin Powell was apparently sucked in by His Hopeful Changeness and the cult of personality, or perhaps just by skin color. Like many so sucked in, he is seeing the problem.
2. Specific to health care -- the federal government and indeed the state governments DON'T OWN HEALTHCARE. There is NO healthcare system in America, any more than there is a grocery system in America or a clothing sales system in America. There are organizations of (mostly) private individuals and private corporations that work together to provide health services. There are organizations that marshal the resources to pay for those services. But there is no system and, by the evidence of countries that have one, there shouldn't be.
I was serving in Germany with the Air Force when the Berlin Wall fell and finally East and West Germany were united. It was not at all unusual to hear the Wet Germans complaining about their Eastern brothers and sisters - they were lazy and did not want to work and expected the government to give them everything.
I thought it would change over all these years but it looks like it hasn't. Welfare, even provided under a brutal dictatorship, is a very addicting drug.
TRO ... The workers in this world have been complaining about the Lotos-eaters since the beginning of time. Lying around in the vineyard eating grapes is a lot more attractive than laboring away every day, spending the sweat of your brow to protect and support your family. Problem is, those dam Lotos-eaters have a lot of free time to think about how to spend your money and harass you with nit-picking regulations.
I read a wonderful summary article about the cap-and-trade bill a day or so ago, and then lost the reference. Today, thanks to the wonderful Betsy Newmark and her Betsy's Page blog, I found a link to it again. It's entitled A Garden of Piggish Delights and is authored by Stephen Spruill and Kevin Williamson and was published by ?The National Review.
The actual bill before the Senate is more than 1500 pages in length, couched in the usual legal doublespeak [forgive me, Barrister]. The article, in much more forthright language and only eleven pages of copy, lists 50 reasons to vote against the bill for its almost unprecedented invasion into citizen's private lives and its equally blatant interference in every aspect of free enterprise. Put simply, the bill is a disaster -- or, as Krauthammer puts it, and, he says, it can't be 'fixed' in its present form. Not only that, it won't accomplish any of the aims it purports to embrace.
If you all have the time this Fourth of July weekend, take a few moments to read through the article.
TRO - any system that teaches Germans to stop working hard is condemned on that alone.
When going through an Eastern European history phase about a decade ago, I came across a very frustrated newspaperman who had heard one to many aged peasants talk about how much better life was under Stalin, because "there was always food then."
This was in the Ukraine.
We look back on older times as simpler because, as Garrison Keillor notes, we were children then, and our needs were attended to by others.
Assistant Village Idiot
Ah, the Ukraine. I worked with a man who was born and raised in the Ukraine, survived the induced famine years, and through factory labor in Germany in WW2, was able to end up in the US. He did not want to talk at all about his time in the Ukraine, a reticence I had also seen in refugees from Estonia. Do not bring back the nightmare.
RE: Winning in Afghanistan. It may be true that Afghanistan was not originally a country with a national identity and that it has weak national identity now. The same was true of India, Germany, France and America herself. For that matter, the same was once true of England. Even now regionalism is found in nearly all nations.
The people of Afghanistan can build a nation and a national identity. They more-or-less must: allowing Afghanistan to fall into several nations will multiply its problems, not solve them. Afghanistan will not be a Pushto-speaking version of the U.S., but its own nation, one hopes.