Wednesday, June 29, 2011
It's Good to be The King
One day so many years ago Tampajeff and I traveled to Versailles, France to see The Palace. We walked around the grounds with some friends and looked in utter awe at this fabulous structure and gardens. Our punch line for the day was "It's good to be the king," which comes from Mel Brooks' "History of the World, Part I." Jeff and I kept repeating the line until our friend Tracy Marker (now Reeber) told us to stop it. Jeff's observation about the Hall of Mirrors: "No wonder they revolted, look at this place!"
It may be fairly said that of all the cathedrals and castles Jeff and I visited during our time in Europe, none was more decadent than was the Palace at Versailles. Three King Louis's were "livin' large." All of this was built and maintained on the back of a starving feudal kingdom. Part of France's economic problem was the cost of their support of our Glorious Revolution. In those days France and England were bitter enemies, and the "Frogs" were an integral part of the forces arrayed against George III. Most of us remember Marquis de Lafayette. He was French royalty. My son goes to college in West Lafayette, IN.
These days I'm reading Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" in order to break-in my Kindle which is a birthday present from my wife. When I see our President golfing most every weekend at our expense, taking multiple vacations and "livin' it up" at our expense, allowing his wife to travel from the Costa Del Sol to Cape Town at our expense, throwing lavish parties at the White House featuring $100 Kobe beef at our expense, and then threaten to not pay the troops in the field because he can't convince the Republicans to allow the Government to borrow even more money, one wonders how long the good citizens of the United States will allow this "kingly" behavior.
Dickens blamed the French Revolution on the royalty's extravagant living contrasted with the hungry peasantry. Both the royalty and the clergy were arrogant to a fault. After several years of a bad economy and poor grain harvests but plentiful wine production, the hungry peasants had had enough. They rebelled and created one of the darkest periods of human history. Tens of thousands of Frenchmen died at the whim of the revolutionaries, which led to millions of deaths during the Napoleonic era that followed.
Propaganda aside, America is far from hungry. Our economy is another matter. It is at best "flat," or no growth. We are involved in three wars. The leadership of both parties are arrogant and continues to spend wildly on the backs of the people. When I hear that Michelle Obama's trip to South Africa cost the taxpayers $800,000 for one week and then hear her husband blame the Republicans for not allowing the Government to raise the debt ceiling, one can only say ENOUGH!
I do not begrudge the President "livin' large." I have no problem with Air Force One and a fleet of choppers at his disposal. After all, he still has the nuclear "football" and is entitled to some perks. But good grief, enough is enough. You cannot tell me that the Government can't cut expenses somewhere without borrowing more capital, inflating the currency, and raising taxes.
America is not yet 1789 France, but I wonder what the next powder keg is and when it will explode. I also wonder if there is a Madame Defarge knitting in the corner and her bloodthirsty friend The Vengeance, who killed with an axe and then ran home to sharpen it.