Friday, May 15, 2009

"Land of the Free" and "Home of the Brave"

I've been disheartened lately at the lack of Google hits on my blog. I normally get at least 5 hits per day which is not a lot, but it keeps me ticking. In the last week or so I am lucky to get 1.

I've been told that I need to write stuff with more key words. I'm not sure I can do this, but I can try. I thought my various travel stories would score more points.

Thus far my most popular posting had to do with MMO PC games that I no longer play.

I've decided to try something different. I've decided to try and make some people mad. I've discovered that when people are mad they keep coming back.

Ed sent me a story a while back about an American living in The Netherlands. It's entitled "Going Dutch". You should really just go read it, if the link works. It's one of the New York Times links which I have found occasionally ask you for a subscription. I don't know why it's not asking me, but maybe I signed up before and just forgot about it.

Anyway, go sign up for it (if you must), read it, and get back to me.

I like the part about the 52% tax rate, but the fact that the government gives him quarterly money for each child as well as a book allowance. The government also forces companies to give their employees a minimum of 4 weeks of vacation and a bonus each May equal to about 8% of their salary to use for said vacation.

When I went to Europe for the first time back in 2001, I was shocked that we claim to live in the "Land of the Free". It's ingrained into our brainwashed heads at a very young age. We don't live in the "Land of the Free". Well, maybe we do, but it's not the only "Land of the Free". And we leave out the "Home of the Brave" part which has taken on a whole new meaning.

In the past 2 years or so, especially in the last couple of days with GM and Chrysler announcing huge dealership closings that will have a huge ripple throughout the country, we may begin to question what Freedom and Bravery are all about.

We have to be brave because it's every man for himself. But, we are free to live on the streets when we lose it all. Actually, that's probably not entirely true either.

In America, we have carefully crafted a tightrope capable of crossing great lengths at magnificent heights. It's wonderfully free and liberating up there. If you can actually make it to the other side there is wealth beyond your wildest dreams. It's the "Land of the Free". It's also the "Home of the Brave" because America has a very narrow safety net. We spent so much time crafting the tightrope we forgot about the net.

We have to work very hard. Most of us get 2 weeks or less of vacation per year. When we lose our footing, it's a long way to fall and it's going to hurt. Having children makes balancing on the tightrope much more difficult. The government tries to help by telling you how fast you can walk and how much your balancing pole can weigh, but it's still very risky.

European countries and maybe others (I've only been to Europe) have tightropes too. They are not as high and they are not as dangerous and if you make it to the other side, the rewards aren't as lavish. But they have very large safety nets with lots of cushions to catch you if you fall. Heck they even have things there to put you back up on the rope to start up almost where you fell off. It's also "The Land of the Free", just not necessarily "The Home of the Brave".


  1. This Rambling made me so mad I'm going to start reading your blog regularly.

    It's not keywords, particularly, it's content. As in details. Sometimes your bloggings have a lot of content, as in details, like when you talk about tech stuff. When you described your recent Italian adventure you got real good Google ads, but not a lotta people seeing them because though your Italian stories were quite funny, they lacked details that Google would glom onto, place names, restaurant and hotel names. It's all in the details.

    It's interesting that you bought into the Home of the Free brainwashing til you went to Europe. Growing up near the Canadian border and going there often, and early on seeing it as being America-lite, but with all the same freedoms and in some things a bit more free. Like when I turned 18 Vancouver was a go to fun place due to 18 being the drinking age and the going to strip shows age. And they were real strip shows, ala the Vegas type, not these embarrassing gentlemen club things you Texans, like you, like so much.

  2. I must practice on this. It will be odd to pick verbiage purely on the googability of it.

    I have a hard enough time with my meager vocabulary coming up with something that is understood.

    Now, it must be understood by people and glommed by Google. I'm feeling overwhelmed.