Seventy-Seven Years

I just noticed the date; it is one that, in Roosevelt’s words, “will live in infamy.” Seventy-seven years ago we abruptly entered the second world war when the Japanese attacked our fleet at Pearl Harbor. The passing of George H. W. Bush a week ago is a reminder that that event, along with the war itself, is passing from living memory.

Brokaw called them “The Greatest Generation.” I don’t know about that, but mine has not covered itself in glory. However I remain simultaneously hopeful for and fearful of the future. We do, for now, live in the best of times in human history.

But if you’re pessimistic, I guess you can take the Trump approach. After all, as Marx* once said, “What has posterity ever done for me?”

* Not that Marx. This one.

19 thoughts on “Seventy-Seven Years”

  1. After all, as Marx once said, “What has posterity ever done for me?”

    I’ve seen this attributed to H. L. Mencken. Sounds like something he would say.

    1. Well, I have a distinct memory of hearing it in one of the flicks, but maybe he stole it from Mencken. It does seem to be difficult to find the actual attribution.

      1. How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You Aren’t Anyplace At All?

        (“I think we’re all bozos on this bus.”)

  2. I am skeptical of anonymous quotes being accurate and in context but what can Trump do? Under Ryan’s leadership, the GOP controlled house has failed time and time again to pass a budget and control spending in defiance of Trump and what the voters want.

    What good is controlling congress if they don’t do what they were sent to DC to do?

    Trump’s policies have brought us record tax revenues. Paul Ryan’s policies have failed to control spending or even slightly reduce it. The only group that would support cutting spending is the freedom caucus and they were neutered by the Obama administration and the GOP establishment. They only person to propose a solution was Rand Paul.

    1. There’s not a whole lot that Presidents can do about budget deficits and the national debt. That’s Congress’s purview.

      In recent years, Congress has steadily ceded its powers to the Executive and Judicial branches of government.

      Congressmen do not write legislation. That is done by staffers and lobbyists.

      Congress has created regulatory agencies with the power to issue rules with the force of law. Congress has oversight of these agencies and could even abolish them, but they never do.

      Congress is supposed to pass budgets, but in recent years they just pass continuing resolutions which kick the can down the road.

      Congress can impeach rogue judges who exceed their constitutional authority, but they don’t.

      And of course the Senate was originally designed to represent the states’ interests which provided a check on the power of the federal government, but that disappeared with the 17th Amendment.

      As it stands today, Congressmen and Senators enjoy all the perks of office with none of the responsibility. Congress is no longer a serious branch of government. Almost all real power is in the hands of the Executive and Judicial branches, which means that we no longer have representative government.

      1. I’m certain that if Trump vetoed a budget that the media and many of the people who complain about deficits would go ape.

        Getting Congress to reduce spending is a diplomatic challenge on par with peace in the Middle East.

  3. Tojo and Hirohito were convinced of the sound legal footing they had for the attack on Pearl Harbor by their law firm, Tora, Tora, Tora, & Dershowitz.

    That’s all.

    1. Why are you picking on the “Dersh” — of all the liberals, he seems to be among the few that one have a reasoned discussion? He even sides with us on some matters.

      1. Not picking on him. It just seemed like a good, well known Jewish lawyer name to throw in to the mix. Lighten up, okay?

  4. Coincidentally, I watched (again) Saving Private Ryan the morning of the 7th. I was surprised at the depth of my emotional reaction all throughout the film. Roger Ebert, RIP, noted that it was almost impossible to not weep through that movie. I did, in buckets. Having been a film aficionado all of my life, I have to say that that is, in my opinion, the greatest movie ever made, and the greatest that ever will be made.

    1. The opening sequence of the beach language was …brutal. IIRC, that year the Critics voted for a “War Comedy” about an Italian garrison force that basically ‘sat out the war’ on a small island. After the first few minutes of Saving Private Ryan most critics were probably to shell-shocked to form an honest opinion…
      …Too, Real.

  5. In an alternate universe, the greatest generation is today’s military fighting under the rules of engagement from WWII. I can’t imagine anyone fighting in WWII letting mere lines on a map stop them from going where the enemy is.

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