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Sorry, World - This what freedom looks like

bisleybisley Senior MemberPosts: 10,798 Senior Member
I've often been embarrassed at some of the scandals and the general behavior in this country, and wondered what intelligent, reasonable folks think, in other civilized countries. Surely, Europeans and others think that all of our problems are immense, and that this much freedom just surely couldn't be worth  it. They would be wrong.

Yes, we have immense problems. We are divided down the middle, between a mostly younger generation that wants everything handed to them on a silver platter and hardcore constitutionalists, who want things to be like they were when they were kids, and everybody had two parents and worked for a living. We have kids flipping out and becoming half-baked terrorists. We have crooked politicians out the wazoo that think they are elites who can make rules for everyone else to follow that don't apply to themselves. Our foreign policy veers and swerves because our government changes every 4 or 8 years, with the two parties being nearly completely opposite, ideology-wise. We have 20 trillion dollars of national debt, with no sign that it will ever get any smaller.

In the midst of all this, we still have the largest economy and the most powerful military that the world has ever seen, by far. China is overtaking us, economically and militarily, but they still have a long ways to go, and we can still crash their economy, if it comes to it, though not without some suffering on our own part. As usual, our people ignore world politics and all of the burgeoning threats, until the last possible minute, before waking up and taking the hard way back. Folks tend to their own business and let others tend to theirs, until they finally notice that they are getting screwed and better do something. We have been in wars all over the globe that could have been avoided, or at least minimized, had we been paying attention. We ally with folks who have the same enemies, and then end up opposing them, later on, when they stab us in the back, or because we had an election and the new administration disagrees with the last one.

We have a populace in which a high percentage of us feel the need to arm ourselves against the bad guys among us, yet we still live mostly normal lives, going and coming as we please, and most of us still help our neighbors and teach our children to be kind to others, while also teaching them to fight back, when attacked. We have states that demand support from the federal government to pay for all of their silliness, while refusing to obey the laws that most of their own Congressmen voted in, years ago. We have other states who pay their own way and a large part of what the other states fall short on, yet still find a way to prosper. The contradictions are endless, and getting worse every day. But, in general, we continue to prosper.

How can this be?

I have come to the conclusion that this is just what freedom looks like. It's very messy, and doesn't work, about half of the time. We may eventually use it up, or we may continue on like this forever. Who the hell knows? It worked well for a long time, because we had a frontier to escape to. When the frontier is all used up, will we go the way of all the other attempts at democratic government? Maybe there will always be a 'new' frontier. Maybe economics will cause the great cities to fail, and they will become frontiers. Maybe we will fight another civil war, causing migrations that will create new frontiers. Maybe we will end up fighting our neighbors and begin conquering their frontiers.

Maybe. But I'm thinking that come what may, this country will always be a place where free men still live, somewhere. Maybe we are the frontier.




Replies

  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    Very well said, yourself.

    That's my patriotic rant...for Memorial Day...I guess.
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,697 Senior Member
    edited May 2018 #3
    bisley said:
    ......Maybe. But I'm thinking that come what may, this country will always be a place where free men still live, somewhere. Maybe we are the frontier.




    Yes you are; land of the free and the home of the brave indeed.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,749 Senior Member
    China's military is a flickering candle well ours is all the power of a miniature sun. The disparity is a portrait of what empire looks like. I've suspected for some time that the rest of the world sees the empire and not the citizenry.

    I have faith and even some trust in the entire citizenry inspite of glaring failings of individuals.

    I don't think our problems are that big in comparison to the good will of the entire citizenry. Turning the good will into good action is where things get messy.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,484 Senior Member
    edited May 2018 #5
    I have a lot less faith in the future of this country as it exists now with the current crop of snowflakes that will be the future leaders.   Look how far the 60s hippies have brought us down from the greatest generation.  I think the socialist tendencies of the snowflake generation could be worse.  Colleges pollute their minds and the govt babies them.  What could go wrong.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 10,936 Senior Member
    Luckily not all of that generation are snowflakes. Some are becoming movers and shakers in their industry of choice. 
    Where we are lacking is a new generation of electricians, plumbers, masons, and almost all of the trades. Many are great programmers, analysts, and such, the rest make good burgers and frys. Once the buulders of today retire, im not sure what will happen
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,122 Senior Member
    Diver43 said:

    Where we are lacking is a new generation of electricians, plumbers, masons, and almost all of the trades. 
    This is quietly becoming an epidemic of epic proportions.  In my industry we are losing qualified HVAC technicians to retirement at a rate 10 times faster than we are replacing them.  Many vocational schools and community colleges are shutting down their HVAC programs for lack of interest.  For any young people who are not afraid to work and want a lifetime of steady employment, now is the time to get into the trades.  The worse the shortage gets, the higher the wages go.
  • RugerFanRugerFan Senior Member Posts: 2,314 Senior Member
    Diver43 said:

    Where we are lacking is a new generation of electricians, plumbers, masons, and almost all of the trades. 
    This is quietly becoming an epidemic of epic proportions.  In my industry we are losing qualified HVAC technicians to retirement at a rate 10 times faster than we are replacing them.  Many vocational schools and community colleges are shutting down their HVAC programs for lack of interest.  For any young people who are not afraid to work and want a lifetime of steady employment, now is the time to get into the trades.  The worse the shortage gets, the higher the wages go.
    My A/C guy is working himself to an early grave. He wants to find someone to come and start helping. But he can't find anyone. The last one stole tools and $.

    At my school we are putting more of an emphasis on the trades. We have started taking our 8th graders on a tour of a local community college to show them what is available without a 4 yr degree.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    Diver43 said:
    Luckily not all of that generation are snowflakes. Some are becoming movers and shakers in their industry of choice. 
    Where we are lacking is a new generation of electricians, plumbers, masons, and almost all of the trades. Many are great programmers, analysts, and such, the rest make good burgers and frys. Once the buulders of today retire, im not sure what will happen
    ^THIS^

    When folks my age (661/2) were kids, everybody knew that half of the kids, or more, were not geared for college, or even that many of the really good test-takers (like me) had been bored since junior high and did not want more classrooms. They still had craftsman programs in high school, apprenticeship programs for carpenters, plumbers, pipefitters, electricians, etc. and all kinds of technical schools. There were many jobs that a kid could start at the bottom and work up to a professional level in about 10 years, and support a family in the meantime. I, myself hired on as a brush cutter on a land surveying crew and, 11 years later, passed the 16 hour state test to become a licensed land surveyor, considered to be a professional, with zero college. (They changed this, shortly afterwards, but I was grandfathered in.) I parlayed those credentials into a job that paid twice as much, had great benefits, and a pension, and retired at 62, after 30 years.

    There are still good opportunities out there for mature young people who know how to work at skilled service jobs, with opportunity for advancement.
  • HappySquidHappySquid Member Posts: 384 Member
    Over here in the Netherlands we have the same problem, plenty of college graduates without a job and NO techs, HVAC/ central heat techs, plumbers , electricians, carpenters or any other real trade specialists. So almost nothing gets done for a decent price or within a reasonable timeframe
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    edited May 2018 #11
    I know at times I come across as a Pollyanna in certain political discussions, but ultimately this country will continue to do what it has always done, muddle through. It will have its ups and downs and different people and different areas or groups will shuffle around who is doing well and who is getting the shaft at any given time, but ultimately things will continue moving forward with an upward trend over multi-decade time scales.
    Reading this, I have to say, even though myself and some others disagree with you vehemently sometimes, I don't think I want to see things with only my side prevailing and no more like you. I think it's a balancing act. The two party system needs to stay. If we do away with it I fear this great experiment in freedom will fail. You guys do keep us honest as we do you.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not throwing in the conservative towel, I'm just a fan of balance in all things. I have read enough history to see I don't want capitalism like as in the late 19th and early 20th century. The big conservative industrialists and just the rich in general had a superiority complex and thought everybody that wasn't a millionaire was just stupid and unworthy. They would starve the less fortunate to death if left alone to do so. Your side tips the scales the other way somewhat. We need that in our society. However, I don't think we need the level of liberalism the Obama administration envisioned. They were out of balance the other direction. I feel Trump is leveling things back out and strengthening our military and gaining respect from the rest of the world again.

    Actually, even though he's ultra rich I think he is sensitive to us lesser beings and he is truly a president that will get us back on even keel. It will take time, but if he is allowed a second term people will see this. Give him a chance and let Trump be Trump.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,403 Senior Member
    Our kind of freedom here in the U.S. has always been a bit messy, but it beats the devil out of the alternatives that other countries find themselves in, and have found themselves in, for the last 2+ centuries. We have political swings back and forth, but never stray too far from the center; our old republic seems to be mostly self correcting. I hope it stays self correcting; things of late don't look so good politically.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • GilaGila Posts: 1,828 Senior Member
    BAMAAK said:
    I have a lot less faith in the future of this country as it exists now with the current crop of snowflakes that will be the future leaders.   Look how far the 60s hippies have brought us down from the greatest generation.  I think the socialist tendencies of the snowflake generation could be worse.  Colleges pollute their minds and the govt babies them.  What could go wrong.
    The problem with our country is the nihilism that is being forced on us at every level.
    No good deed goes unpunished...
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I look at this country today and see it sliding down a slippery slope to oblivion and I think to myself; “Im glad I’m old’ I don’t really belong here any more.
    Trump has been a small ray of hope but I doubt it’s enough. Maybe all generations feel like this when they get old.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    xxx
    timc said:
    I look at this country today and see it sliding down a slippery slope to oblivion and I think to myself; “Im glad I’m old’ I don’t really belong here any more.
    Trump has been a small ray of hope but I doubt it’s enough. Maybe all generations feel like this when they get old.
    Yep, I'm pretty sure there always have been and always will be large numbers of grumpy old men
    And you'll be one someday to, my first ever vote was for the Socialist party at 18.  Then I found out about the real world.

    The old adage by French Premier Georges Clemenceau, "Not to be a Socialist at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head."  is quite correct but in his day 30 year olds were adult men.  Our modern "adults" seem to take a lot longer to ripen on the vine...
    Modern children have adopted socialism as their religion - they don't have the first clue about politics. Like everyone else who wasn't brainwashed from the cradle, they have chosen the religion that fits their lifestyle best.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,403 Senior Member
    timc said:
    I look at this country today and see it sliding down a slippery slope to oblivion and I think to myself; “Im glad I’m old’ I don’t really belong here any more.
    Trump has been a small ray of hope but I doubt it’s enough. Maybe all generations feel like this when they get old.
    Yep, I'm pretty sure there always have been and always will be large numbers of grumpy old men
    Well Alpha, I can give you ONE reason why we're grumpy old men. Long before you were born we were enjoying freedoms that are long gone now. Freedoms that YOU never experienced. And since you didn't experience those freedoms and weren't there when they were taken by well meaning socialist/progressive nanny state fools in government, then you don't miss them.

    For instance, pre 1968 you could go into a place that sold firearms, like the local hardware store, plunk down your money, and walk out with any firearm there. You could also buy all the dynamite, fuse, detonators, and other stuff you needed to blow out stumps, or build a pond. Why is that no longer the norm? The stuff bought didn't change, but people sure did change, A LOT! People have gotten pretty hateful and just plain evil over the last 5 decades. So the government's answer is to curtail the rights of the law abiding by the acts of those that don't follow the law. And going soft on criminals makes the old deterrents no longer deterrents. I could go on, but it would fall on deaf ears.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,861 Senior Member
    Social media has caused many so called problems.
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • GilaGila Posts: 1,828 Senior Member

    tennmike said:
    timc said:
    I look at this country today and see it sliding down a slippery slope to oblivion and I think to myself; “Im glad I’m old’ I don’t really belong here any more.
    Trump has been a small ray of hope but I doubt it’s enough. Maybe all generations feel like this when they get old.
    Yep, I'm pretty sure there always have been and always will be large numbers of grumpy old men
    Well Alpha, I can give you ONE reason why we're grumpy old men. Long before you were born we were enjoying freedoms that are long gone now. Freedoms that YOU never experienced. And since you didn't experience those freedoms and weren't there when they were taken by well meaning socialist/progressive nanny state fools in government, then you don't miss them.

    For instance, pre 1968 you could go into a place that sold firearms, like the local hardware store, plunk down your money, and walk out with any firearm there. You could also buy all the dynamite, fuse, detonators, and other stuff you needed to blow out stumps, or build a pond. Why is that no longer the norm? The stuff bought didn't change, but people sure did change, A LOT! People have gotten pretty hateful and just plain evil over the last 5 decades. So the government's answer is to curtail the rights of the law abiding by the acts of those that don't follow the law. And going soft on criminals makes the old deterrents no longer deterrents. I could go on, but it would fall on deaf ears.
    Exactly right!  We used to by our 22 ammo at a gas station on our way going rabbit hunting after school for 50 cents a box.  Now, I'd lose some of my grumpy if I won the brick of ammo in that other thread...
    No good deed goes unpunished...
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