“In one area we visited, we observed a multi-million dollar unfinished ‘road to nowhere’ cut into the side of a mountain. The project was constructed at considerable risk to the U.S. engineers who took fire during its construction. When asked why the project was started and then left unfinished, the answer was telling. The Army built the road because President Karzai asserted that roads were a high priority in Afghanistan. The Army thought that a road in this particular area would help the locals get crops to market and thus contribute to their economic well-being. The problem was that the locals were subsistence farmers and did not want or need a road—they wanted a well for clean drinking water. Because the Army built something the locals did not want, the locals did not protect it. Rather, they allowed the Taliban to come to the area and take shots at the engineers until the Army realized the project‘s futility and stopped construction.”
“Does anyone find it odd how the media can use Europe, or Japan for that matter, as either a positive or a negative depending upon which buttons they are wanting to push on the American people?
For example, when they want Americans to meekly accept immigration, they give us these articles about a ‘dying Japan’ or a ‘Europe that can’t get up’. Immigration is presented as a solution, and while Japan accepts none and Europe can’t or won’t assimilate them, good old America just keeps on taking ‘em in, thus our economy is performing better than theirs.
But when the media wants to squash any sentiment against small government, or gun ownership, etc., they paint a picture of a wealthy Japan or EU with their minuscule murder rates, generous national health care systems, workers compensation, unemployment benefits, maternity leaves, etc., etc. Why the streets and infrastructure in those nations are gleaming, modern marvels compared to the crumbling structures in America. If only we’d tax ourselves like those guys.”
“Why are Nigerians among the most successful Americans? What privilege did they have? What privilege did Koreans have to make such success in one generation?”
“Yet for all his self-pity and sense of persecution, on at least one occasion Nixon showed a striking degree of self-knowledge. In a conversation with an aide in the early weeks of his exile, Nixon reflected on what had brought about his downfall. He said to the aide, ‘What starts the process are the laughs and snubs and slights that you get when you are a kid. But if you are reasonably intelligent and if your anger is deep enough and strong enough, you learn that you can change those attitudes by excellence, personal gut performance, while those who have everything are sitting on their fat butts.’ He had appointed tough guys as his aides, he said, because he wanted people around him who were, like him, fighters. He went out for high-school and college football, and the fact that he had no real athletic ability ‘was the very reason I tried and tried and tried. To get discipline for myself and to show others that here was a guy who could dish it out and take it. Mostly, I took it.’
And then Nixon recognized the danger of such an approach to life: ‘You get out of the alley and on your way.’ At first it was easy. ‘In your own mind you have nothing to lose, so you take plenty of chances. It’s a piece of cake until you get to the top.’ Then came the danger. ‘You find that you can’t stop playing the game because it is part of you … So you are lean and mean and resourceful and you continue to walk on the edge of the precipices because over the years you have become fascinated by how close to the edge you can walk without losing your balance.’
‘This time it was different,’ the aide responded.
‘Yes,’ Nixon replied quietly. ‘This time we had something to lose.'”