First - on this Fourth of July a thought and a prayer for our troops around the world. Without their sacrifices our freedom would surely be in peril and the world we be a much poorer place.
Second -I yearn for my country which is in the midst of one of the ugliest times I remember - true liberalism and conservatism much like Shiites vs. Sunni's are playing out a high stakes game with many mnhy casualties. America is coming to a day when they will have to make a choice, and alas we ae barely civil with each other. AS I age I seem to become more libertarian and want the government out of my life more and more. I believe that most issues of our day are states rights issues. If a state wants gays to marry, tougher environmental laws, mandatory death for smokers and obese people , or even no welfare or medicaid - it should be up to them. Let them compete for dollars and the economy and population will seek it's own level. The Federal government was only supposed to protect us from threats external and internal and help administer interstate and international trade. States should decide. That being said - I probably would have to opt out of New York - but at least I could have a choice.
Third - the military is not a police force. Everytime we have used that word we have "lost" our cause (Korea, Viet Nam). Our troops do not lose but the government loses the will to win and achieve the goals of the conflict. It is just not fair. There are times when the use of military force is called for and justified - but a military is designed to do two things - break things and kill people where necessary. That's it - nothing else. It is not a social humanitarian organization. Anything else is an abuse.
Finally - as I believe God loves laughter - as a New Yorker - here in the land of the highest state taxes in America - I am disappointed in our state legislators for passing all their spending bills and forgetting to do something of substance. This alas passes for governance. I received a book on Father's Day called The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said. Whilst reading today I found this one quite proper - especially in a year that gave us Spitzer, Trooper Gate, I did drugs and had a marital affair -
"Man is the only animal that laughs and has a state legislature"
Samuel Butler (1835 to 1902).