How did we survive as a country for the 200 years before that often mispronounced without the first "r" phrase went incessant? And we don't even know for sure if we are going forward or going backward, or just floating in horse latitudes. We don't even know what it is like in a black hole.
Our problems, going you-know-which way, lay before us, or is it, lie before us?
In 2011 public life, our newest problem is to know if somebody who claims to be gay really is. Political science will soon realize that gay candidates start out with 11 percent. Now, all candidates merely look gay, but directly every candidate will claim to be gay and start demanding of each other that they prove it. Candidates will claim that their opponents falsely accused them of not being gay. Gay Catholic veterans with a few million dollars will remain hard to beat.
"Don't ask, don't tell" got changed to "Shut up about it."
Will they put all the gay guys in one tank and let them decorate it different from the straight guy tank? Then in a military parade, you could count the ratio of tanks in camo vs. Florentine clay with rose-taupe accents and know pretty well if the Army is being fair to everybody and becoming more English. Will gay guys make good hostages, or turn out like John McCain?
Now when it comes to fighting, shooting and getting shot at and sniping, gay people are going to be an asset to the military. Then the country — actually, I was thinking more about me — will remain safe despite a politics that would rather have 750 nuclear missiles continue to be aimed at me than to give the president a victory.
That's even to the point of sending young children of pickers and stoopers and tobacco workers — children who have spent their whole lives in America — back across the fence. The reason is, we need our own food and fiber, even if we have nobody to pick it.
Plus, a lot of those immigrants are going to end up voting as Democrats if you let them stay. If you give enough poor people the vote, soon the rich may have to pay taxes, too.
Going forward, or grinding to a halt in the mountains, we must deal with our edifice complex.
Those who can build edifices, such as Pikeville's Expo center, which is about to go the way all civic centers do, build them and leave them for others to support.
We knew that when Pikeville got ours, but we were promised Kid Rock, and decided it was worth the chance. Now, somebody has to pay the light bill and nobody will claim paternity. Soon this place will sit like all those spec buildings unwisely built on industrial parks across Appalachia to lure factories out of China.
If your Wiki starts leaking, ask your doctor if less beer might be right for you. Don't even use your Wiki in Sweden, where they will have you brought back from another nation for condom neglect. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will be duly tried, though for international blabbermouthing. His trial will be in the Hague and take several decades.
Going fawward, the U.S. could do well not to put its secrets on a disk, or not to have secrets.
My recommendation for 2011 is that we go on and fight Iran and North Korea. Pieces of cake. Slam Dunk. Airball?
Larry Webster is a Pikeville attorney.