Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How Did We Become So Weak?

 

Can you believe that 75 years ago–beginning on February 21, 1945–60,000 US Marines attacked the small Japanese island of Iwo Jima? It wasn’t very safe. In fact, about 26,000 of the young men were killed, wounded, or missing by the time the battle ended on March 26, 1945 (that’s 43.33% casualties). 6800 of the young Marines were killed (11.33%).

The motto of New Hampshire is “Live Free or Die.”

When I was a child (I’m nearly 60), we were told of a great American named Patrick Henry of Virginia. In a speech back in 1765, opposing some unjust act of Parliament (the Stamp Act I think) he famously proclaimed “Is life so dear or peace so sweet so as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

What has happened to us? Do we think we shall live forever on this earth? Do we think we won’t die? We will. Of course, we should take reasonable means to avoid death. But really. We’re going to stop people from working and give away money we don’t have (throwing more debt to be carried by future generations) because we’re afraid of a virus? I guess we don’t really believe all that freedom and liberty stuff. Even our Churches are closed–the Church that once astounded pagans by her indifference to death-even in plague-knowing her true homeland was not here.

Lord, help our poor country!

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  1. Arahant Member

    Washington78: What has happened to us? Do we think we shall live forever on this earth?

    Amen, brother! Preach it! The next world is coming for all of us. It is merely a question of when. How shall we live our lives in the meantime?

    • #1
    • March 29, 2020, at 10:17 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  2. Juliana Member

    I often think about the pioneers, and how they managed to thrive in harsh conditions, accepting death and disease as part of their destiny. I think it’s a matter of things being done for us – I have a warm house and warm car in the winter, cooled in the summer. I have electricity and water in my home. I can connect instantly with local police or fire fighters, and friends, and family around the world. I no longer have to wait months for an answer to a letter. I have millions of choices for food, clothing, and tools and I don’t even have to leave my home to obtain them. I think our ancestors did a much better job of facing the unknown, confident in their resourcefulness and personal strength (often due to their belief in God). We have allowed ourselves to become weaklings.

    • #2
    • March 29, 2020, at 10:30 AM PDT
    • 18 likes
  3. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    We still have our bread and circuses. When the video streaming stops, watch out!

     

    • #3
    • March 29, 2020, at 10:34 AM PDT
    • 18 likes
  4. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You’re right. Can’t even ask people to stay home for two weeks without incessant complaining.

    • #4
    • March 29, 2020, at 1:35 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  5. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    We still have our bread and circuses. When the video streaming stops, watch out!

     

    I am hearing that the internet in Calif will go dark on April 1st and remain out til the 10th. So streaming might soon be a fond memory.

    And, remember the Dems are in charge – so what could go wrong!

    • #5
    • March 29, 2020, at 6:39 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    I am hearing that the internet in Calif will go dark on April 1st and remain out til the 10th. So streaming might soon be a fond memory.

    Source please?

    • #6
    • March 29, 2020, at 7:09 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Al Sparks Thatcher

    Instugator (View Comment):

    You’re right. Can’t even ask people to stay home for two weeks without incessant complaining.

    Actually more than two weeks is being asked of us. It sounds like a lot more.

    • #7
    • March 29, 2020, at 7:13 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  8. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    You’re right. Can’t even ask people to stay home for two weeks without incessant complaining.

    Actually more than two weeks is being asked of us. It sounds like a lot more.

    The complaining has been going on since it started and the initial request was 15 days.

    • #8
    • March 29, 2020, at 7:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. OldPhil Coolidge

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    You’re right. Can’t even ask people to stay home for two weeks without incessant complaining.

    Actually more than two weeks is being asked of us. It sounds like a lot more.

    The complaining has been going on since it started and the initial request was 15 days.

    I’d be quite disappointed if Americans weren’t complaining.

    • #9
    • March 29, 2020, at 7:43 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. Weeping Member

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    You’re right. Can’t even ask people to stay home for two weeks without incessant complaining.

    Actually more than two weeks is being asked of us. It sounds like a lot more.

    And for numbers that are – in most areas of the country – pretty much minuscule. For instance, according to the latest update that arrived in my inbox this morning, North Texas (which has been under a shelter-at-home order for about a week now, some counties a bit longer than others) only has 836 confirmed cases and 13 deaths. My county, which includes the city of Dallas, has 439 of those cases. The state of Texas itself only has 2,498 confirmed cases and 31 deaths. The estimated number of people living in the state? Around 30 million.

    Now, I realize that part of the reason those numbers are so low for Texas is because of the shelter-in-place restrictions some counties and cities have enacted, so I’m not saying the restrictions haven’t helped keep the numbers as low as they are. But at the same time, I’m not convinced that the projected worst-case scenario of a couple of hundred thousand deaths (I think that was the number that was given; I could be wrong about that) would have happened had they not been put into place. 

    • #10
    • March 29, 2020, at 8:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    I am hearing that the internet in Calif will go dark on April 1st and remain out til the 10th. So streaming might soon be a fond memory.

    Source please?

    “April 1st”.

     

    • #11
    • March 29, 2020, at 8:07 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. KentForrester Moderator

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Amen, brother! Preach it! The next world is coming for all of us. It is merely a question of when. How shall we live our lives in the meantime?

    I’m glad you’re back, Arahant. I missed you.

    • #12
    • March 29, 2020, at 8:21 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. WilliamDean Coolidge

    I think analogies between the general population today and the soldiers who fought in WWII are a little unfair.

    The men who served in Europe and the Pacific were trained and equipped to fight an enemy they could see and could engage with. They did this to keep the rest of the citizenry’s butts (the overwhelming majority) safe at home. Those folks back home were asked to do their part to support: reorient their industry to serve the effort, sacrifice various valued products and goods, watch who and about what you talk about, etc.

    In order to fight the war, the government borrowed deeply, and mounted a significant public pressure campaign urging people to buy war bonds to finance it all.

    Today, we are fighting a very different kind of enemy. The tools and training of our soldiers are of little use against a virus that is invisible to the naked eye, spreads quietly from person to person, and can’t be fought using physical force. Today, it is our doctors and nurses and emts and other healthcare workers who are our fighting force, who have the tools and training to find and engage this disease. They are putting themselves at grave risk to keep the rest of the public safe.

    And as for us? Like in WWII we have different, less dramatic responsibilities to support those on the front lines. Keeping our distance from each other, maintaining higher levels of cleanliness and attention to contact, avoiding public transportation and group settings, and all the sacrifices that come with that. These we are asked to do to because minimizing the spread directly impacts our health system’s ability to protect us as best it can.

    And yeah, the government is borrowing a boatload of money again that will eventually be on us. I’m open to argument on the wisdom of that, but to chide ourselves for not living up to the example of soldiers when we should be measuring ourselves against the general public of that era again to me seems unfair.

    • #13
    • March 29, 2020, at 9:27 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  14. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    the Great Society made us weak

     

    • #14
    • March 29, 2020, at 9:45 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  15. ShaunaHunt Coolidge

    Nice to see you, @arahant! You’ve been missed.

    • #15
    • March 29, 2020, at 10:18 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Al Sparks Thatcher

    WilliamDean (View Comment):
    I think analogies between the general population today and the soldiers who fought in WWII are a little unfair.

    First, this isn’t a war. Whether unfair or not, it’s simply wrong.

    And it’s even the opposite of war, if you’re comparing it to the U.S. involvement in World War II, where U.S. (and Canadian) civilian casualties were miniscule and our military went overseas to fight.

    In this “war”, there probably aren’t going to be much in the way of casualties amongst the “soldiers”, the health care providers, though there will be some. Instead it’s going to be the “civilians” that die. And unlike a real war, it will primarily be the old, not the young, who will also die.

    In a real war, the young are asked to sacrifice for the rest. In a sense, that’s what is happening here.

    But as someone who is in his sixties, I’ll say that it’s not justified.

    So yes, protect and help the vulnerable. But not like this.

    Because we have gone to war to protect our way of life. With this, we’re ruining our way of life, especially in giving these experts free reign to run our lives.

    • #16
    • March 29, 2020, at 10:43 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. I Walton Member

    We’re battling three enemies.

    1. The disease

    2. The Chinese who spread it to the world while defending themselves from it. The only question is whether it was planned or simply an accident that presented an opportunity , but it spread throughout the world but not to their allies or to themselves, and we don’t know what they’ll do next, if anything.

    3. Liberal democrats who want to use it however they can to weaken the President with hopes of winning the White House.

    Then there’s the inflation that could destroy the economy and the middle class even more than the stoppage if we don’t get back to work before we spend too much of that 2 trillion. 

    • #17
    • March 30, 2020, at 3:58 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Henry Castaigne Member

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    the Great Society made us weak

     

    More than the Great Society, our wealth and power made us weak. That always happens. 

    • #18
    • March 30, 2020, at 4:33 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Henry Castaigne Member

    I Walton (View Comment):
    2. The Chinese who spread it to the world while defending themselves from it. The only question is whether it was planned or simply an accident that presented an opportunity , but it spread throughout the world but not to their allies or to themselves, and we don’t know what they’ll do next, if anything.

    I’m skeptical this was purposeful of China. The Chinese Government is conservative in the sense that they fear dramatic changes and diseases are pretty darn dramatic. 

    • #19
    • March 30, 2020, at 4:36 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    A better analogy, in my opinion, is the “Spanish flu” of 1918. It was first recognized in a Kansas military training base. No attempt was made to isolate soldiers. Instead millions were shipped to Europe to fight in WWI. Epidemics in army camps go back to the Plague of Athens. A great uncle of mine died of measles acquired in an army camp in the Civil War. He was 18. Measles is highly contagious and was one of the plagues that affected armies. Had we stayed out of WWI, would the flu have killed so many millions in 1918 to 1920 ?

    • #20
    • March 30, 2020, at 6:24 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. Ralphie Member

    I Walton (View Comment):

    We’re battling three enemies.

    1. The disease

    2. The Chinese who spread it to the world while defending themselves from it. The only question is whether it was planned or simply an accident that presented an opportunity , but it spread throughout the world but not to their allies or to themselves, and we don’t know what they’ll do next, if anything.

    3. Liberal democrats who want to use it however they can to weaken the President with hopes of winning the White House.

    Then there’s the inflation that could destroy the economy and the middle class even more than the stoppage if we don’t get back to work before we spend too much of that 2 trillion.

    Every war, or government intervention on a large scale produces other battle fronts, it seems. Chaos, hunger, disease, followed wars in the past. Our current conflicts seem anapestic in contrast, and we aren’t used to great personal burdens, or country wide adaptations (rationing, etc.) Women aren’t knitting socks and rolling bandages, but they are pinning how to make a mask articles. 

    I do believe the greatest fallout will be economic, magnified if we decide to go socialist/democrat. Money makes the world go around, and the Bible is very aware of the importance of good stewardship, both in actual money and talents. The commandment that thou shalt not steal is an argument for personal property rights, and that is always under assault by those who want power. That area will need serious shoring up.

     

    • #21
    • March 30, 2020, at 6:36 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    How did we become so weak ?

    This is a really peculiar thing for someone like me to say, because I can’t stand the way the whole positive thinking thing has, at times, been abused to mean: don’t think about or honestly discuss anything unpleasant. But part of how we got this way was by failing to make a habit of looking for the opportunity in, or positive side of, anything that goes wrong.

    What we need now are some Sunny Side of the Plague stories and suggestions. So I’ll share one: We should begin now a campaign to exonerate Christopher Columbus, Columbus Day and, at least, the disease spreading of all those disease carrying Conquistadors. They certainly didn’t spread their germs deliberately.
    The way I see it is this: The native populations were defeated, and almost wiped out, vastly much more by the diseases the Columbus crew, and the Conquistadors who followed afterwards, carried with them than they were by the assumed cruelty of the Italian explorer or by the cruelty of the Spaniards. In fact, the evidence is that the Conquistadores certainly weren’t more cruel, even as cruel, to the natives as their own rulers were to them. So there’s no reason that Columbus, and a lot of the cultural changes his voyage brought to both worlds, shouldn’t be celebrated. (It just really bothers me that my Grandson wouldn’t dare wear to school on Columbus Day a T-shirt with 3 ships on it and the caption: make your own discoveries.)
    I know it seems like a small thing. But reclaiming our history, and our right to celebrate it, would help to make us stronger.

    • #22
    • March 30, 2020, at 8:14 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  23. Henry Castaigne Member

    Ansonia (View Comment):
    This is a really peculiar thing for someone like me to say, because I can’t stand the way the whole positive thinking thing has, at times, been abused to mean: don’t think about or honestly discuss anything unpleasant. But part of how we got this way was by failing to make a habit of looking for the opportunity in, or positive side of, anything that goes wrong.

    It’s all how you interpret things that go wrong. Right now I feel that our culture decries absolutely everything as being racist, sexist and homophobic without talking to happy and successful non-whites, women and gay people. Sometimes they can even be all three. We need enough positive thinking to see how things can get better and how we can become better individuals who create better communities that create a better country. 

    • #23
    • March 30, 2020, at 8:43 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ansonia (View Comment):
    They certainly didn’t spread their germs deliberately.

    Didn’t even know what they were.

    • #24
    • March 30, 2020, at 4:20 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. kedavis Member

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    A better analogy, in my opinion, is the “Spanish flu” of 1918. It was first recognized in a Kansas military training base. No attempt was made to isolate soldiers. Instead millions were shipped to Europe to fight in WWI. Epidemics in army camps go back to the Plague of Athens. A great uncle of mine died of measles acquired in an army camp in the Civil War. He was 18. Measles is highly contagious and was one of the plagues that affected armies. Had we stayed out of WWI, would the flu have killed so many millions in 1918 to 1920 ?

    Maybe not of flu. But how many would have died from losing the war?

    • #25
    • March 30, 2020, at 4:43 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. kedavis Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):
    2. The Chinese who spread it to the world while defending themselves from it. The only question is whether it was planned or simply an accident that presented an opportunity , but it spread throughout the world but not to their allies or to themselves, and we don’t know what they’ll do next, if anything.

    I’m skeptical this was purposeful of China. The Chinese Government is conservative in the sense that they fear dramatic changes and diseases are pretty darn dramatic.

    Deliberate or not, it’s easy to make the case that it was largely if not entirely “their fault.” So one easy step would be to “borrow” all this money from China, and then decide they don’t get it back because it was “their fault.” And the money is just reparations.

    • #26
    • March 30, 2020, at 4:45 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    A better analogy, in my opinion, is the “Spanish flu” of 1918. It was first recognized in a Kansas military training base. No attempt was made to isolate soldiers. Instead millions were shipped to Europe to fight in WWI. Epidemics in army camps go back to the Plague of Athens. A great uncle of mine died of measles acquired in an army camp in the Civil War. He was 18. Measles is highly contagious and was one of the plagues that affected armies. Had we stayed out of WWI, would the flu have killed so many millions in 1918 to 1920 ?

    Maybe not of flu. But how many would have died from losing the war?

    Presumably Hitler would never have come to power (since no “stabbed in the back” conspiracy theory), which means you avoid WWII.

    So probably on net, fewer.

    • #27
    • March 30, 2020, at 4:54 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. kedavis Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    A better analogy, in my opinion, is the “Spanish flu” of 1918. It was first recognized in a Kansas military training base. No attempt was made to isolate soldiers. Instead millions were shipped to Europe to fight in WWI. Epidemics in army camps go back to the Plague of Athens. A great uncle of mine died of measles acquired in an army camp in the Civil War. He was 18. Measles is highly contagious and was one of the plagues that affected armies. Had we stayed out of WWI, would the flu have killed so many millions in 1918 to 1920 ?

    Maybe not of flu. But how many would have died from losing the war?

    Presumably Hitler would never have come to power (since no “stabbed in the back” conspiracy theory), which means you avoid WWII.

    So probably on net, fewer.

    Hitler wasn’t the only one talking about how Germany had been mistreated etc.

    • #28
    • March 30, 2020, at 8:00 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    A better analogy, in my opinion, is the “Spanish flu” of 1918. It was first recognized in a Kansas military training base. No attempt was made to isolate soldiers. Instead millions were shipped to Europe to fight in WWI. Epidemics in army camps go back to the Plague of Athens. A great uncle of mine died of measles acquired in an army camp in the Civil War. He was 18. Measles is highly contagious and was one of the plagues that affected armies. Had we stayed out of WWI, would the flu have killed so many millions in 1918 to 1920 ?

    Maybe not of flu. But how many would have died from losing the war?

    Presumably Hitler would never have come to power (since no “stabbed in the back” conspiracy theory), which means you avoid WWII.

    So probably on net, fewer.

    Hitler wasn’t the only one talking about how Germany had been mistreated etc.

    The proposition was that Germany didn’t lose. If Germany didn’t lose, no one in Germany would have been complaining about how they were mistreated.

     

    • #29
    • March 31, 2020, at 5:27 AM PDT
    • Like
  30. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    The proposition was that Germany didn’t lose. If Germany didn’t lose, no one in Germany would have been complaining about how they were mistreated.

    So Germany wins, what then? Were they known for treating their conquests kindly? How much territory/ treasure would have been ceded to them?

    • #30
    • March 31, 2020, at 10:24 AM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.