Friday, October 27, 2006


Sorry for the lack of posting, but I've been getting my butt kicked by school. As I stated previously I'm changing majors at semester into Political Science, so no more enginerding for me. Unfortunately, I'm changing majors at SEMESTER which means I have about a month and a half left of suffering through physics, calculus, and AerE classes.

Anyway, I went on a drive with one of my roommates this afternoon. We ended up driving up to a small town north of Ames called Story City. It has a typical small-town America downtown, complete with furniture store, small general store, a grain silo by the railroad tracks, and a one screen movie theater. I've seen this hundreds of times before when driving to visit family in Kansas or pheasant hunting out in rural Nebraska. As we were driving through, a thought struck me. Towns like this aren't much different in concept to a small village in France or Belgium. Except for the one crucial difference: war hasn't physically touched small towns like this in America for almost 150 years.

I understand that there are a variety of reasons for this, some political, some diplomatic, some sheer geographic luck, but I'd like to think that the U.S. military had something to do with it as well. And then another thought struck me. At the most basic level, that's what people in the military are fighting for. So that this:

Doesn't turn into this:

And before you dismiss it as an idle militaristic wet dream, consider this RAND study. It's a scary world out there, and a lot of people in America take their blanket of protection for granted.

(And if you have a spare hour, sit down and read the RAND study. A lot of good info and discussion regarding the socio-economic repercussions of such an action.)