The Useful Duck!

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Thursday, March 19, 2015


HI have useful and interesting blog topics which I have yet to post about.
1. I no-till planted peas and have the addresses for places to buy good inoculant as local farm supply stores do not stock it.
2. The peas are up
3. My father-in-law is coming to live with us.
4. A funny story
5. I am looking at a BMW R-65 because scooter boy's wife left him and he owes me money for pig feed and he is selling everything. I thought is was a BMW R65SL or LS or something which is kind of a sport bike and kind of neat. But it is not anything special.
6. Farming, blah, blah, blah...

But I have not been online much lately.

Sunday, my daughter and I went to see "Unbroken."
I kept thinking about the differences in attitude between the America which I grew up with and the America of today.
I grew up reading old books. I understand that the myth of American Exceptionalism was not always a myth. I read the same books and had similar cultural influences growing up as the people who won WW2. Sort of a time machine upbringing. Books from the turn of the century, old grandparents. Lectures on self reliance, personal responsibility, fairness, doing the right thing, God, pulling yourself by your own bootstraps and so on.
I believe my uncle went though Germany and France without ever getting a French hooker or drinking beer or probably even swearing. I suspect it was entirely possible.
Of course this is no longer a proper cultural understanding. Everyone has a flaw and we celebrate our flaws and those are what give us a nuanced understanding of life.
Rates of depression have not declined with that viewpoint, but as my belief in my own exceptionalism fails, so does my ability to get out of bed in the morning...

The other thought that really influenced how I viewed the movie was the understanding that the United States uses "enhanced interrogation techniques." Watch the Japanese use "stress techniques," on Allied Prisoners and then imagine that in a US prison camp. Compare Japanese prison guards to people you know who work at prisons. You realize that people who are brutal prison guards go home and hug their children and have gardens and hobbies and are quite normal.
One of the great unlearned lessons from WWII was that ordinary people will do horrible things when given the opportunity.

Have a nice day...

Edit: Talking about American Exceptionalism because I'm American and should think I am the best. Canadians should disagree with me and so should Brits. Well I don't know about Brits and their warm beer and everyone knows Aussies are a bunch of wankers...
And Canadiens talk funny...


  1. Everyone is an exceptional individual with flaws, just like everyone else.
    On the lighter side:
    An Englishman has started his own business in Afghanistan. He is making Land Mines that look like prayer mats! It's doing well! Prophets are going through the roof!

  2. MV, that is so bad that its good.:-) Was just thinking this morning what a different world kids of today grow up in compared to the sixties I experienced. Almost a different planet. But a good one still.

  3. I've had an unpleasant few weeks. MV's joke made me chuckle. That might be about it for March. My first thought was to request the humorous story but I'm on a work, have things break, buy parts, have no time theme right now so if you could hold off on the humorous story until April I might be ready by then.


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