Our days of wine and roses…

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"The citizens rioting in Hong Kong however, can see that closing door. Soon the vision of our freedom, for which they yearn, those days of wine and roses - will be nevermore. Crushed by the jack boot."

Editor's note: Relax folks, although an excellent move from 1962, this has NOTHING to do with the award winning movie staring Jack Lemon and Lee Remick.
When I look at our life in America these days, I have a hard time doing anything but smile. Although not perfect, living in this great country comes about as close to perfect as one can get. Some days, when my feet hit the floor once getting out of bed, I sit for a while and ponder. Ponder what? How blessed we are - all of us - to live in this country. As the saying goes, the poorest of the poor would be well off compared with everyone in the world. Yes, we have it that good. And yes, these are the days of our wine and roses.
Before too long, my wife and I will be going on a cruise of the WestPac. Kind of like a "50 years after" reunion for me. Fly to Japan, cruise to Viet Nam, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Okinawa, and then back to Japan. Should be quite an adventure for many reasons.
Right now, part of the trip is looking somewhat sketchy. I would not be the least bit surprised if our port visit in Hong Kong got scrubbed. Why? Social unrest. Why social unrest? The good people of Hong Kong have an infection. It is called liberty. Freedom. The thought of being under a jack booted thug like China is antithetical to their beliefs.
Right now, the citizens of Hong Kong are looking to the United States for help. For support. Why us? Because, whether the socialists in this country like it or not, America is still seen as that shining city on the hill. The beacon of hope. The land of opportunity. The land of our wine and roses.
The students in Iran during the Obama Administration. Rioting in the streets. For more free stuff? Not hardly. Rioting for freedom. The students in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago. Rioting in the streets. For more time off? Again, not hardly. Rioting for freedom. Each time the jack boot came down on their throats. Why? Once power is ceded to the government, and the pet becomes the master, it is very hard to get your freedom back. It is easy to slip into serfdom.
But why do other countries look to America? Is it because of our generous welfare benefits? Unfortunately, some countries do, but I will not go into that here. The important countries however, do not. They look to this country for the same reasons that Bono articulated. America is no longer just a country - it is an idea, which has now been shared with the world. To use a medical term, this freedom has caused contagion. As we know, freedom is very contagious. The good people in Hong Kong also know that. They would give their eye teeth, and much more, to have our kind of freedom.

The days of wine and roses

Laugh and run away like a child at play

Through a meadow land toward a closing door

A door marked nevermore, which wasn't there before

Great song written by Henry Mancini and sung by Andy Williams. But in reality, our freedom allows us to live in the days of wine and roses, allows us to laugh and run away like a child at play. The citizens rioting in Hong Kong however, can see that closing door. Soon the vision of our freedom, for which they yearn, those days of wine and roses - will be nevermore. Crushed by the jack boot.

Freedom is not free. Our freedom has been earned by patriots who gave it all. Patriots from yesterday and today. They gave it all so our land can continue to be a beacon for the world to see. To give the world hope. I wish the socialists in this country could see that. I really do. What they see in America right now is not wine and roses - not even close. It is vinegar and weeds. Sad. Very sad.