How Can We Tell In What Direction We Are Headed, If We Don't Know Where We Have Been?


We have all been there at one time or another.  You are watching a TV show, sitting in your favorite chair.  Maybe it was not as exciting as it promised to be.  Inevitably, however, you fall asleep.  Eventually you wake up and an entirely different show is displayed as you attempt to reorient yourself.  As I awoke last night I found myself watching what must clearly be a poorly choreographed fight scene in some third rate “B” movie, the kind that is usually run late at night.  But, the fight continued and I finally had to admit that this was an actual boxing match.  I continued to watch the last three rounds of the 12 round fight in disbelief.  Is this the level to which boxing has fallen?  The earlier rounds, which I apparently slept through, must have been legendary, because what I saw of the winner was just some kid who could not retreat fast enough, as his clock was thoroughly cleaned.  The announcer, trying to glorify momentary bursts of activity, rang ridiculously out of place.  Grateful that the fight was over I went to bed, only to hear the NPR announcer lauding the fight the next morning.  Outrageous.

No wonder we are in such a state.  We apparently do not have anyone, anywhere of importance, who remembers what life in the U.S. used to be like.  I read yesterday that it was in the early Sixties when the Military/Industrial Complex was born.  Our country was not always like this.  I heard yesterday that out trade deficit has improved, that we sold more than we bought.  Do we sell, or even make for that matter, anything but weapons?  I worry that we may have sold more weapons then all the Chinese widgits we may have bought.  That can’t be good for the world, as a whole.

And Boxing, I remember watching Cassius Clay in his hay day.   He was amazing.  He could go through a fight without his opponent barely laying a glove on him.  He would predict, before the fight, in which round he would knock out his opponent.  Then he would do it.  Boxing was great and so were we.  We made lots of things besides weapons.  And we had statesmen in Washington.  Senator William Fullbright led the Senate Foreign Relations  committee.  We had Roosevelt who established Social Security.  We had Lyndon Johnson who established Medicare.  We had Kennedy who set up the Peace Corp.  Now we define greatness by how many toys one accumulates.  Greed has replaced pride in doing one’s best, where best was defined as helping one’s fellow man.

I have to say I am glad that my “kids” are my pets.  I will not have to worry  about the world they are left with when I die.  It is not a concern I have.  We have a rough 10 years ahead of us and I will be surprised if the U.S. survives.  Countries around the world are worried about what will happen if Iran gets nuclear weapons.

What do you suppose the countries around the world will worry about when the U.S., a country that has nuclear weapons, elects some idiot like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, or Glenn Beck as president.  We are a country that actually has weapons of mass destruction.  If we do not get our head on straight and start figuring out why compassion is a good thing, some country is going to figure out that a pre-emptive strike is indicated.  Of course, that might not be a bad thing.  We could use a fair amount of nation building here in this country.  Let’s just hope whoever invades us does not sub-contract our redevelopment out to Halliburton.

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