Crashing Waves — a Guest post by Eamon J. Cole

For my sins, our host (I use the gender neutral form because Hostess makes Twinkies and Sarah Hoyt’s too busy for Twinkies) has tasked me with another post.

We need…something to dream on.
History that feeds the soul.
It’s time to gather the pieces and rebuild.
– Sarah A. Hoyt,
Narratives

I want to talk about picking up the pieces and rebuilding. Not just putting it back together, but building it better.

If you’ve got your eyes open, you know the days are getting dark. There’s more than a little adversity facing us, from all sides. While we’ve been getting on with our lives the opposition’s been creeping into position and they’ve corrupted our story. They’re getting to us, bit by bit. Catching us while we’re young and undermining the essential context of our lives. Hemming us in when we take the stage into adulthood. And dropping stumbling blocks in our path as we move through life. It’s in the schools, the universities and the increasing regulatory burden hanging above us all. It’s in the corrupted institutions of our various governments and the perverse incentives that foster a stifling bureaucracy. I’d say it’s in the air, but I don’t want the EPA to get any ideas.

We all know the new story, right? Humanity is corrupted; we’re a disease and a problem. Our history is one of strife and despoilment. America is not a great nation. We’re a country established by arrogant, flawed people. We have dark stains on our history, and it will bleed through to everything we do. Most people are a drain, a burden on the country and a blight on the planet. In this world people get ahead by stepping on the faces of the people around them. Countries get ahead by grinding other nations into the mud. Success is greed and theft. If you’re up somebody else has got to be down. It’s the story of ‘Privilege.’ Know it, own it, regret it. You’re not what you’ve made of yourself; you’re the accumulated advantage taken from others.

We know the next bit, too. The only way to expiate our guilt is to surrender to the collective. Our successes are not our own, they can’t be, we owe someone else for every step. And we must pay that debt, hand our work back and appreciate the opportunity to lessen the weight of history. Oh, yeah, and make ourselves available to be sacrificed to the greater worker’s paradise.

~~~

Except, that’s not the America I know. That’s not even the humanity I know.

Were our founders flawed? Sure, they were as human as the rest of us. Doesn’t matter. Our great men aren’t “Great Men.” They’re regular folks that had great moments. We have no need for a myth of superiority and infallible decision. We don’t want, wouldn’t believe in, and couldn’t follow a ruler ‘anointed by G-d.’ Not only is it not in our mythology, it’s not in our history. Do we have dark spots in our history? Never doubt it. Does it inevitably bleed through? Well, no. We don’t trace our blood and heritage to define our destiny. A fair enough portion of the time we don’t let yesterday’s fumbles interfere with today. Why would we let dead history tie the living down? As to most people being a drain: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” How about stepping on faces, grinding into the mud, greed and theft? That’s why our wealthiest citizens are descended from the most powerful families of the first colonies, right? And why our enemies have been utterly destroyed and lost to history. We knew so well that to get ahead we had to hold somebody else back that at the close of the last world war we crippled our enemies and ensured they would never again hinder our progress. Not the way you remember it? Hm. So where does that leave Privilege? Where d’ya think?

But you know all this, right? Preacher – meet Choir. So, what’s next? We do what we do. We walk into the smoking ruin they’re making of our story, our history and culture, and we pick up the pieces.

~~~

I can look around, like the rest of you, and see where this country’s going. I don’t have any illusions (Okay, I’ve got a few, but they’re precious. And delicate, keep your paws to yourself, I’m keeping ‘em.), the country I grew up in is gone. We’re not getting it back. And no amount of raging against the tide is going to fix that. Irrevocable change has been wrought.

So? Listen, I don’t have any more desire to go back to 1986 or 1976 than I do 1776. The American story, big and small, has been about moving forward. Ours is the story of change, growth and learning. Our destiny is not written in yesterdays, but in tomorrows. How can it be otherwise? We’re a land of immigrants, refugees from every spot on the globe. On top of that, we’re a land that values individuality, character and passion. When somedude from someplace lands on our shores, and sets out to do his thing knowing full well he can get it done, this thing he knows, it’s the secret his momma whispered to him as a babe… We don’t tell him he can’t do it. We don’t start talking about how that’s not how it’s done. We get out the lawn chairs, drag out the coolers, pass the beers around and get ready to watch the show. And if he stumbles a bit along the way, we all do, one of us sets our beer under the chair (don’t be eyeing it, I’m gonna finish it) and gets up to lend a steadying hand. We’re inclined to cheer his successes and jeer the obstacles, celebrate the triumphs and commiserate the set-backs. After he’s done and something new is built and change has been wrought to our way of life, we get out of our chairs and go buy some of what he’s selling. Do you have any notion of how rare and precious that is?

This new guy, this guy that just revolutionized that thing with his stuff, you know he talks kinda funny? And have you seen the food he likes?
He doesn’t talk any funnier than those folks up in Boston. Seen his food? I’ve eaten his food! (He’s not kidding about the peppers) I’m still trying to get the recipe from him.

We embrace change and the people who bring it. We take it and build the next chapter of the American story. We don’t step on anybody’s face to do it, we lift them to our shoulders so they can reach their goals, and they pull us up behind them. Other countries, other times? Not so much.

This is our strength, and a bit of our weakness. It’s how we got where we are today. We’re willing to give anybody a listen, and see what they can do. And that’s been used against us. The opposition has done a little preparation, sowed some ideas and undermined some foundations. Then they stepped up and said Lemme show you what I can do! And by and large we’ve let them try their experiment. Our willingness to adapt new cultural ideas and explore new ways of getting things done, our ability to take people as they come, has been used to introduce a bit of corruption into our culture and lead some of us astray.

But back to that strength: They haven’t solidified our essential nature despite their attempts. Our people, ALL of our people, are as fluid and susceptible to new ideas, better ways, change and progress as they were before. Skeptical, sure, but ultimately receptive. We just have to tell ‘em a story they can believe in.

~~~

Let’s talk about the Human Wave. This is what rebuilding looks like, American style. We’ve got some general guidelines, and we’ve got a goal, why you still sitting about? Make it happen! From that original idea, that manifesto Sarah put forth, I think the Human Wave concept has grown, and will continue to grow, and yeah, change. She staked out ground to build a new idea of SF/F, and a lot of us aspire to pitch in on that project. Behind that, though, the subsequent waves are the broader ideas of the story of America and where we go from here.

Some of us are storytellers and are trying to build that narrative in the very literal sense. We’ve got folks around here working on reclaiming the history, some working to define the present, and a gaggle or so looking to the future. And we’ve got job lots of folks who are actually building things. Their narrative is the life they’re putting out there and the product of their hands and minds. The task we have in the Human Wave is to bring all this to the front. To put these ideas and this work on the table and call attention to it. Lemme show you what we can do, what we have done, what we will do!

We can start by telling the truth about American ‘leaders.’ This massive, heterogeneous society built from the people and cultures and religions of the world, who’s going to stand at our head and lead us into the future? *Snort*

We don’t really have leaders, not the way other folks mean it. We’ve got some folks we send up to Washington to do the scut work. The President, the ‘leader of the free world?’ At best, he’s the CEO of the administrative function of government. He’s the kid we voted to stay after class and straighten the desks, and clean the boards, and make sure the trash gets taken out. In short, he’s supposed to make sure everything is ready for us to get back to doing what we do. Whatever we decide that is. Congress? Supply clerks, the lot of ‘em. Keep an eye on the budget, make sure the executive has what he needs to clean up (but not enough to start ‘fixing’ things, we’ll see to that, thanks.), do your best to stay out of the way. That leaves the Judiciary. Here’s the keys, and a checklist, make sure everybody follows the list, and keep the place locked up so the hoodlums don’t get in and wreck things.

An American politician stepping up to lead the way will have a few folks following along behind to see where he’s going, and a ton of folks standing along the route to critique the route, his stride, his attire, how he fixes his hair, heckle him about where he’s going, and frequently poke a farm implement or flag pole in his path to trip him up. But he’s not likely to look over his shoulder and find 314 million people behind him. Unless they’re dogging his heels as he runs out of town…

We’re as likely to listen to what somebody’s got to say, and respond, “That thing you said, right there at the end? I liked that. The rest of it, you can stick that back in the bull, he’s got more use for it than I.” (You think the Lightbringer’s any different? Look around; look at what the MSM isn’t telling you. Ignore the cheerleaders, they make money pasting those smiles on.)

Well, who’s going to lead the Human Wave? Nobody. We’re going to handle this like we handle everything else. Recovery doesn’t come from the center; it’s not coordinated from the top. It can’t be. Nobody can know enough to sit in the center and coordinate the recovery, when they try vast resources are inevitably wasted. This country wasn’t built by grand visionaries leading the way to the future, but by individuals with great ideas building on their patch to make it better. Human wave at its best should be the same. Building things back up from the bottom, making it better, stronger than before. Restoring belief in American exceptionalism, which is really the belief that an individual, regardless of origin, regardless of yesterday, can put a shoulder to the task, dig in their heels and build a better future. For themselves, their families, and for all of us.

Once the news trucks are gone, and the politicians are done posturing and spouting sound bites, American recoveries are always dispersed recoveries. Individual people, free to associate as they see fit, go about setting things back in place. They call their friends and neighbors, they check with somebody who ‘knows a guy,’ they hire some strong backs and willing hands, and they build their little patch of the future. And they build the next chapter of American history along the way.

~~~

Some folks are looking at the wreckage right now, and frowning. This isn’t a little mess; this is a pile of broken structures and detritus. It’s dangerous and unstable and I don’t know enough people like me to even start digging this out, much less rebuild it. Where do we even start?

Grab the first piece you can get your hands on, pull it out of the way. Get your back into it, your friends’ll be along. Somebody’s going to show up with some extra gloves you can use. Somebody around here knows a guy that’s got a big loader; they’ll call him and get him over here. He’s got some buddies, they like big machines and know where the keys are, give ‘em a bit and we’ll really start moving this mess. You know there’s some obsessive types wandering around here, they’ll set to sorting out the wreckage and making piles of what to keep, what to recycle and what needs to be burned. Bit by bit, one by one, we’ll start to come together and sort this mess. And when the ground is clear, we’ve got builders aplenty. There’s a couple of engineers over there sitting on a chunk of concrete sketching right now. We can start putting this thing back up. We can rebuild, and build new, roll with the changes and make it better.

I’m not Pollyanna, you know. This is gonna suck. No way around it. A lot of sweat and tears are going to go into this. We’re going to smear a little of our blood on the wreckage, digging it out. We’re going to sink a lot of time into it. Not days, or months. Years. Some of us may not make it to the end. All of us are going to have to take a breather. Waves crash. They come tumbling down and come apart and slide back into the whole. That’s okay. Because no sooner than the first wave breaks, another is rolling in behind taking up the cause. In that wave, and the next, are those we’ve influenced and those we’ve brought up after us and those we’ve called to our shore to be of us.

So take a deep breath, gather it into your tissues. Feel the swell building around you. Embrace the suck and let’s catch this next wave into the next chapter. We can ride the Human Wave back into the heart and glory of America, wash it clean, pick up the pieces and build anew.

I’ve got this piece. You wanna grab that one?

57 thoughts on “Crashing Waves — a Guest post by Eamon J. Cole

  1. “We can ride the Human Wave back into the heart and glory of America, wash it clean, pick up the pieces and build anew.”

    Oh yeah! Exactly this!

    1. Yeah, that happens around here on occasion, too. You just have to, you know, wave your hand about your eyes to clear the air.

      😉

  2. “…belief in American exceptionalism, which is really the belief that an individual, regardless of origin, regardless of yesterday, can put a shoulder to the task, dig in their heels and build a better future. For themselves, their families, and for all of us.”

    I think that’s the best summation of American exceptionalism I’ve heard.

  3. Moving. Very moving and heartfelt. It speaks to a fond wish for a better America.

    Some folks are looking at the wreckage right now, and frowning. This isn’t a little mess; this is a pile of broken structures and detritus. It’s dangerous and unstable and I don’t know enough people like me to even start digging this out, much less rebuild it.

    My feelings exactly.

    1. Well, the leftoids like to rant about how they rebelled against their parents generation and took over and are working to change things, forgetting that many of their kids are likely to do the same thing, and work to put things back in the right.

    2. That is a perfect example of a government agency’s inability to understand the character of what they faced, and therefor their inability to do anything about it. And of the multiplied individual response to circumventing obstacles: “Cool! A new challenge this year! Dude.”

  4. “That leaves the Judiciary. Here’s the keys, and a checklist, make sure everybody follows the list, and keep the place locked up so the hoodlums don’t get in and wreck things.”
    Sadly, a too big portion of the judiciary is hoodlums (okay, one is too many, but we’re talking not just SCOTUS, so we’ve a few extra hall monitors to deal with) , and a few of the others can be talked into going along with them on a small bit of wrecking. I can see why they made the SCOTUS seats permanent, but when folks work hard to load it with those who want to rewrite the checklist on a whim, We get no recourse for too long, and too many have a short memory or really want their faces stepped on or think they can ride the thuggish mob to the top. Though, when they fall off the crowd surfing wave into the mosh pit, it tends to be quite entertaining to watch. Especially if you are a safe distance away (like say Texas) so less of the shared pain of the mosh pit is beating upon you.

    So, I’ll be sitting here at the edge, using a clue-by four on some of those in the mosh pit to either keep them to their little area of damage, or maybe, hopefully, if we’re lucky, a few of the stupid kids who think moshing is fun and cool will wake up and realize there is something less painful, and far more satisfying, than taking whatever pain someone wants to deal out to you, just so you can maybe thump on someone else for no reason.

  5. I think you’re right Eamon. If we stick to the traditionally American values that have made this country great, we’ll be ok. This is a land that started out as the Little Country that Could and bet the snot out of the biggest bully on the block. This is the country that stopped an evil in slavery and rebuilt itself after losing six-hundred sixty thousand of its citizens. This is the country that looked Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan both in the face – and then kicked their asses WHILE recovering from the worst economic downturn in human history. It’s a country that has not EVER quit – and which I hope never will.

    And yet, I’m worried. I can’t help but think that when Nixon used the IRS to supress his enemies he was impeached but when Obama did it nobody cared. I wonder about a country that’s so far gone in government dependency that we’ve given over control of our medical system to Washington. I worry about a country that has gotten to the point that we look to the government for help FIRST. I mean, think about it.

    It has actually gotten to the point where it’s no longer okay to donate wild game to food banks. I mean that literally. There have been multiple case, sometimes even in red states, where federal/state governments have confiscated and poured bleach on hundreds of pounds worth of venison because they were unable to assess it for fat and salt content. Here’s a clue guys: They’re wild animals. Fat is minimal because the animal hasn’t been cooped up and well fed. It’s meat. Salt content is relatively low because it hasn’t been canned/caught in the ocean. Even that is not what bothers me though. What bothers me is that no one is pissed off about it.

    Think about it. A single deer averages upwards of 80 pounds of just meat. That’s a lot of food to just be throwing out because Big Brother hasn’t had his hands on it. It’s being denied to starving people. Why? Well, maybe it’s actually about the fat and salt content. Then again, maybe it’s because the government doesn’t want people going elsewhere for help. It really looks to me like brainwashing. “Don’t get help from people, come to us. We’re the only ones who can save you.”

    People are eating this garbage up. There is no more frontier. We’re out of places to run when the government becomes overwhelming. Daniel Boone can’t just move through the Cumberland Gap when he gets sick of following the rules anymore. Now SHOULD be the time to fight. Now SHOULD be the time to tell the IRS man where he can stick his audit. Now SHOULD be the time to wonder why the same government that is trying to take our guns (and yes, it’s happening in New York for guns with high-capacity magazines) and giving them to Mexican cartels. This is a time when a government shutdown panics many people. The government cuts off access to monuments that belong to the people of the United States that cost nothing to keep open. Not many ask why Instead, it’s a time for far too many to stick their heads in the ground and pretend that there’s nothing that they can do.

    And yet, I find that I’m not ready to give up yet. I keep wondering what’s going to happen when your friend and his earth moving equipment show up without their environmental impact statement but I’m hopeful that sooner or later he’ll just scope the EPA bureaucrats colon with the paperwork. That when the people who are doing the work are told how to suck eggs by some government agent, they’ll spit the yolk in his face. That when the government comes to take what’s our they’ll be told to get lost – with extreme prejudice.

    Your call to action is well needed and timely. The problem being that you’re preaching to the choir. Let’s just hope those people asleep in the pews in the back wake up too. We can’t do it all ourselves and we’re going to need them. We just have to show them that.

    1. People haven’t done anything, because people don’t know — that’s the treason of the press. if the public knew the real truth… They don’t. but even so the shut down on it is not universal, and these things leak.

      1. …and these things leak.

        Oh, yes, this. And more people are learning of it than anybody is willing to let be known. And their responses reveal a more typical American attitude. Take the monument shutdown, and what people did in response. Only a few, overall, and only here and there. But how many heard about it, and cheered it? And how many more are primed for next time?

        It takes time. And given our nature it’ll never have the flash or pop of an Occupy movement (thanks be to all!) Hell, it’s unlikely to ever be a movement at all (see above post about decentralized and such). But fewer people are inclined to trust the government, and fewer are likely to believe, and in this small way the wave builds.

    2. ‘Then again, maybe it’s because the government doesn’t want people going elsewhere for help. It really looks to me like brainwashing. “Don’t get help from people, come to us. We’re the only ones who can save you.”’

      I volunteer for a food pantry run by my local church. We provide food packages donated by the church and packages from the USDA. After two years of this, I cannot remember a side-by-side comparison that didn’t make the USDA donations look absolutely sick.

      Local USDA staffers are decent enough, but new regulations from Washington have convinced a lot of volunteers that the USDA, as a whole, would very much like to see local groups like ours put out of the food business. In the words of one volunteer, “We make them look bad.”

      We’ve also heard they’d like to organize the various groups into a single disbursement center per town or county. That might make the paperwork easier to handle, but it would increase the distance some of the poor would have to travel in rural areas like ours. There have been several occasions when we’ve had to pass the hat at our little site to make sure someone picking up food had enough gas to get it home.

    3. …(and yes, it’s happening in New York for guns with high-capacity magazines) …

      An owner of a Marlin .22 rimfire rifle with a seven round magazine got a confiscation letter.

      1. Crap. Those Marlin .22s are nice starter rifles for young ‘uns and folks new to shooting. I’ve still got a Browning takedown a lot like the classic Marlin. That guy needs to move to a better state, or get his neighbors to stop electing confiscatory idiots. *shakes head* Damn shame.

    4. Jim McCoy | December 10, 2013 at 10:31 am
      > This is the country that looked Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan both in the face – and then kicked their asses

      Try telling modern Europeans that.

      I have.

      According to them: There was never a “second front in Europe” of any meaningful size; the Soviets practically won the war single-handedly, based solely on the number of dead Soviets (most of whom, shall we say, contracted a fatal case of NKVD).

      I have great fun pointing out to them: High body-counts are a sign of incompetent generalship — smart military leaders get the job done with minimal casualties. (Would any Western general have fought Stalingrad? Hell no — let the Germans settle in; then have the air forces firebomb the place.)

      Oh, and the fact that in WW1 the Germans defeated Russia, and were able to run a major offensive in 1918, after four years of blockade and privation, shows that the US presence wasn’t required….

      Bluntly: Europeans (particularly the British) are arrogant elitists; and the folks in the US who want to emulate them are no better.

    5. I can’t help but think that when Nixon used the IRS to supress his enemies he was impeached …

      Minor quibble: Nixon did NOT use the IRS to suppress his enemies. He tried to but the IRS didn’t cooperate for him (although they had cooperated with LBJ & JFK, the two guys who had installed the Oval Office audio-recording system that Nixon famously used. Go figure.)

      As the saying goes, you could look it up (but not in the MSM.)

  6. “Recovery doesn’t come from the center; it’s not coordinated from the top. It can’t be. Nobody can know enough to sit in the center and coordinate the recovery, when they try vast resources are inevitably wasted. ”

    A useful reflection:

    ” I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe, a claim I shall attempt to prove. In fact, if you can understand me—no, that’s too much to ask of anyone—if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing. I have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a mechanical dishwasher because—well, because I am seemingly so simple.

    “Simple? Yet, not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me. This sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Especially when it is realized that there are about one and one-half billion of my kind produced in the U.S.A. each year. ”

    Full text here:
    http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

  7. Both links to earlier articles have a ” at the end of them.

    I got an end, here, and I know two guys who “know a guy”.

    Also, if you’re in Idaho, you can get a salvage tag for road kill game after you pick it up.

    1. Links fixed, apologies for the difficulties, entirely my fault.

      Now, where’d I put that hair shirt?

        1. Miniature Australian Shepherd. He sheds enough I could build a new dog every week. For that matter, all my shirts are hair shirts.

  8. As my Pentecostal neighbor says, Preach it, Brother! I’ve got hand tools, my neighbor has a chainsaw and some power tools, and we know people with trucks and a generator and compressor.

    I’ve worked disaster clean-up, as I wager more than a few of the Huns and Hoydens have, and you are spot on. Once the power and gas are turned off, and the other people are free of the wreckage, it’s volunteers and “tree parts over here, wood scrap here, ya’ll look for glass since you have the heavy gloves and Duluth pants {direct quote}, and get the kids some rakes and let them keep that area clear for the pick-ups.” And my hand to Bog, only in the US have I seen disaster scenes catered. One of the local BBQ joints, that had escaped trouble, brought out a load of smoked meat and other stuff that they needed to get eaten. We obliged and were very grateful.

    1. Exactly. (Tornado clean-up, mayhaps?) While the officials are coordinating the assessment to determine the probability of facilitating the… the folks are doing what the folks do and gettin’ it done. Looking back at the West explosion, they had to cordon off the area ‘for safety.’ But the real reason is: “if you let all these folks back in they’ll clean up all the evidence and we won’t be able to investigate! Dag-nab-it, if you’re not careful they’ll put it all back like it was and we won’t even find the explosion site!!”

      1. Tornado and flood. If you build a college town in the Midwest next to a river or two, they will come.

        1. Tornados must be heck to clean up. Back in my little mountains its flood and occasional wildfire in the dry season. Flood’s is bad enough, shoveling out the mud (worse when a sewer main breaks *and* there’s a flood at the same time. *shudder*), but the one tornado I worked, I spent more time patching tires from roofing nail punctures and patching people who’d got cut and didn’t want to slow down so I could clean it than I did hauling trash and cooking, and that’s saying something.

          We’ve had a disaster or two catered. *grin* Every occasion is a “bring food” one around here- least it always was when I was growing up. Funeral? Bring cassarole. Divorce? Bring pastries. House burnt down? Bring barbecue. As long as there’s truck tailgates, there’s tables, and if not there’s paper plates. And gigantic kegs of sweet tea.

          1. I recall helping clean my great aunts house after a flood. She had lived there for 49 years and I swear she had never threw a single thing away. Next door (and just downstream) of a heavy equipment auction yard. Having just remarried she was at her husbands house when the flood came and had no idea her house was anywhere near the floodwaters (just filled in a swamp to build a new Walmart, she had never had water within sight of her house previously) until someone called her. 3 1/2 feet of water that has just ran through a yard full of used heavy equipment is just a tad messy, although at least she lived upstream of the sewage treatment plant. I did some cleanup downstream of that after a future flood and it may not do as bad of permanent damage, but it is worse to clean up.

            1. You know, there’s a medic-pilot story involving BBQ that I’m just not going to mention. But yeah, most people would probably give you at least strange looks before digging in. Some might call it “insensitive.” The rest of us would just prefer that you set up upwind of the fire scene, please.

            2. The sweet little old lady whose house it was gave her blessing. In her words,

              “My great grandpappy built that house. He must have been drunk when he did, because the roof always leaked, the windows wasn’t quite square, the water never would stay hot, and there was a cold spot in the kitchen where the foundation was cracked.

              “God willing and the crik don’t rise, this time I’ll build it right. Bring on the barbecue. My nephews love the stuff, and I’d a missed ’em if Jack hadn’t pulled me out of there in my footy pj’s.”

              Of course, for sensitive, I’m the guy who made heavy garlic pasta the day we dissected cadavers and ate it with gusto (the pasta, not the corpse). Growing up po’ tends to broaden one’s horizons when it comes to appetite. Not much can put me off my feed. *chuckle*

    2. If you want to see the opposite kind of behavior, go look at stories from people who went to Haiti to help after the earthquake. I had stories from acquaintances who went there about how they would see the Haitian stand around doing nothing. They did some rebuilding, and returned six months later to find absolutely nothing done by locals to continue work after they left.

      1. Heck, you don’t have to go Haitian — look at communities here in the USA that relied on FEMA after a disaster (some areas hit by Sandy are still getting their permits processed.)

      2. Let us not forget the likelihood that any Haitian who did anything would find himself surrounded by whining friends and family who want to mooch — if the police didn’t demand their take enough to shut him down.

    1. And nesting fails, it would seem. The above is in response to Holly. And apparently I need to go fuel the engine and clear the fog.

  9. It is purely amazing how Americans self-organize … and in defiance of those who assume themselves to be our bosses. No, we are all leaders, and with our own ideas. (To roughly quote one of the Texan militia captains in the Texas revolt against Mexico.)

  10. At first I was worried that there was no room for me to work but then I saw this line:
    “You know there’s some obsessive types wandering around here, they’ll set to sorting out the wreckage and making piles of what to keep, what to recycle and what needs to be burned.”
    And I felt better. A good remainder that despair is a sin and we should put our shoulders to the wheel. 🙂

    1. That’s the great thing about American recovery, there’s no way I can anticipate what everyone brings to the table. But I don’t need to, and neither does anyone else. Pitch in as your talents dictate.

      Lemme get you a chair while you sort, and I’ll send some kid-labor your way.

  11. Well said, Eamon.

    Reminds me a bit of the Tea Party and Return to Honor rallies where the city never had to complain about the mess because the folks involved bloody well cleaned it up first. That self-reliant, can-do culture is alive and well in America, despite what certain loudmouths of the left would want us to believe.

    Many of us are the quiet types, a lot of us are just trying to pursue happiness despite what the self-proclaimed “leaders” are trying to push. We don’t elect “leaders” in this country, we elect representatives. I’m glad to see someone beating that particular drum. *grin*

    1. It is a drum I like to beat. *subtle grin* And one I think needs a particular pounding these days. Watching the obsequious manner of the media and entertainment in dealing with the office of the presidency. Particularly entertainment portrayals. Deference and awe? Really? Blech.

      The President gets the same amount of respect I grant anyone else. Period. I will not fawn, nor swoon. I will not avert my eyes or defer to his presence. Sorry. The President is elected to do a job, and should be judged and dealt with on how well that job is done.

      Too many of our political class have assumed a mantle of superiority not due them, and too many of our media and entertainment personalities have acquiesced to the assumption. I need the gal cutting my hair far more than I need anyone in Washington, and they should be treated accordingly.

      Or so my humble self thinks.

        1. *hurk!* *cough* *splutter*

          But-but I like carrying around all these words!

          Seriously though, I’ll think on it, maybe sometime next week when things aren’t so busy (I hope). Anything in particular y’all want to read?

  12. ” Most people are a drain, a burden on the country and a blight on the planet.”

    I sometimes agree with this, but then I’ve been called cynical before. And my definition of the people that are a blight tends to be rather different than the definition of those in charge, in fact many of those in charge fit the definition like a glove.

    1. I wouldn’t necessarily argue with that, but those in charge are a tiny minority. Most people are better than politicians.

  13. Well said, Big E.

    One reason the present looks such a disaster is we are not taught about the past. Look back at the Wilson presidency and you see our present ain’t the worst administration this country has faced (although they do try and will try harder.) Remember: Mussolini & Hitler modeled their governments (including BrownShirts) on Wilson’s.

  14. Well put. And you’re right, not many talk about how to go about the digging out part of the recovery after the coming darkness. I think we all kind of assume it will just happen.

    1. Thanks. I get the feeling too many assume there won’t be a recovery, and digging out is a pipe-dream. I hope I’m wrong, and obviously I disagree, but there’s a lot of end-times pessimism out there in the wild.

Comments are closed.