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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Life on the Road

I have been across most of four states twice in the last two weeks. A journey that was too much for a timid soul. Being stuck in a car is taxing, painful, and debilitating. Automotive seats are as comfortable as practical, probably, but on a body with so many aches and pains it is torture. Every stop is sweet relief, and terrible agony. I limp along dragging myself across the parking lot. Hoping to avoid being smashed by a careless driver who is more interested in a phone screen than a wind shield. And just about the time a full range of movement has returned it is time to fold myself into the cramped, confined, confounded space, and stiffen up again.

Trends crystallize as you travel across state lines. Shapes harden into discernible patterns. And I can tell you the second amendment is in no danger. It is emblazoned onto the fabric of the country. Own a gun, and you will be safe. That battle is being fought for no good reason, and the only people who are making any noise about it at all are making a lot of money for their troubles.

Patriotism is at zenith. I grew up a Catholic during the Vietnam war, and the Watergate scandal, so I've always kind of been a little skeptical of overt, blind faith in anything. In the chillingly appropriate words of Bob Dylan;

"The say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings,
Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king."

In many ways I wish I could be more like that. There has to be great comfort in the herd like solidarity of faith and patriotism. Something to hold onto when life gets rocky and uncertain. Something solid, some rock. But, being adrift in rising waters has some advantages as well.

So, to this wonderful nation, I would like to say congratulations, we made it another year without any real disasters. Troubled times are looming, and I'm praying we all get away. Though there does not seem much hope for that. Elie Wiesel said he didn't think humanity learned anything from the Holocaust, and I am afraid that he is right. So, maybe things we will be ok, and maybe we won't, it is up to us, and that doesn't provide much hope.