Happy Bush Country

Ben Stein – of “Win Ben Stein’s Money” – has penned an excellent, upbeat article in “The American Spectator.” Based on his travels in the vast center of this country, he sees an optimistic America that likes the direction America is going.

Despite the setbacks in Iraq, despite the long slow pullout from the recession that began in 2000, there is a happy mood in the country — we’ll get through whatever the problems are now, things will be better tomorrow, and for right now, we’ll all laugh about it together or maybe cry about it, but together, and the fact that we’re together will make it better.

He sees pockets of negativity, and vocal they may be, they’re don’t speak for middle America:

There are pockets of constant complaining. The big cities of the east and west coasts, especially among people who make their living be complaining, are not so happy as North Idaho. Whole large swaths of the population who rationalize their own failings by thinking of themselves as victims, especially in big cities and heavy coffee drinking centers, have their own clubs. Those brotherhoods specialize in pessimism and anger as they spend the money they have inherited or receive as allowances from family, state, or university. The malcontents live on their frustration and envy of the people who are actually out there accomplishing things. That envy rises like the steam from the coffee and lattes they are endlessly drinking.

I’m 99% sure I would have never won Ben Stein’s money. Occasionally I’d know an answer he didn’t, but they were few and far between. I hope I get the opportunity to hear one of his speeches for myself.

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A Do-Nothing Weekend

It started off as a Do-Something weekend, but the rain killed off all the plans. Tonight was “Something With Patty” Thursday, but for some reason she’s not interested in braving the tornados in order to get a caffe latte.

Tomorrow was a golf day with a vendor; rain killed that, too. All that’s left on the agenda is to go Vote on Saturday – oh, if you’re a Houston resident, go vote YES for Proposition 1. This is being portrayed in the news as reducing the pensions of policemen and firefighters… and I suppose it is, in a way. It’s also reducing the pensions of city workers. Basically, the previous mayor promised increased pension benefits in return for support. Today’s mayor finds we can’t afford the previous promises – those benefits allow most city employees to retire with most of their salary after 20-25 years. Ah, to have such a nice package in the private sector!

Since the weekend is open now, I’ll try to scan in another 100 family photos. I’m working on Jan 1961 – June 1962 slides.