Our apologies for a week-long absence, but we are still here and still going strong.
As is the planet. The wars and rumors of war meter have spiked the last week or so, but the big missiles aren’t flying, and the warmongers haven’t sucked us into yet another war.
And due to other work, we here at TPOL have had a chance to see that things aren’t totally collapsing in our part of the world. And we’ve learned from a lot of people scattered around the States and even from the Great White North and other places. What? That they are not in places that are falling apart around them. Often because of them and people like them: responsible, exercising their liberties despite the constant restrictions and battles, and with hope that they are making a better future for themselves and others.
Let me explain.
Lots of people in this country – in the Fifty States – are taking the Russian war in Ukraine hard. We’ve heard from friends and acqaintances about events, worries, rumors, and fears.
Lots of people – including the same ones – are still suffering from, and worrying over – the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the Panic with the Lockdown and the mandates – both mask and vaccine. Especially the impact on their children and others, their local and national economy, their own prosperity, and health. Very little of it good.
And we’ve heard frustration, again and again, with government at all levels. And with the Karens and Mrs. Grundys and meddlers who use government to harm others.
But we have seen those same people, and others, living lives with hope. Despite not finding people to do the work they need to be done. Despite waiting for months for repair parts and equipment. Despite empty store shelves and exploding prices.
We’ve seen people, and their parents and grandparents, children and grandchildren, doing for themselves and others despite the problems and the challenges. And working to fix things
Our work for the last week has been hectic. Travel (well over 2,000 miles in the last eight days: South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming, and back to the Black Hills). Teaching: 24 hours of training miners on health and safety topics. And of course, preparation time for the teaching: a total of 50+ students. We also continued to spend hours and hours (more than 1600 man-hours since last July) designing and planning and coordinating for a large sand and gravel mining and processing operation only to have the landowner back out less than 48 hours before the first series of hearings. Plus a half-dozen other meetings and hours and hours of coordination. Driving through blizzards and heavy traffic in urban areas and through some of the most empty lands in the States (and some of the most beautiful).
But that travel time (though we work – no NOT while driving, but when riding while someone else drives!) gives us time to talk and listen, and think. To debate, exchange ideas, and even learn: about history and current events and more. Things discussed in some 40 hours on the road give us ideas to talk about and write about for a long time to come.
Bottom line? Liberty and responsibility are NOT dead in these States, or in the world. And almost ALL of the people we met – AmerInd, Anglo, Asian, Black, whatever – are working to see that happens.
Never give up.