11 November 2015


Two thoughts and a postscript for Veterans' Day.


2. Spot the missing part of the proverb:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost,
for want of a shoe the horse was lost;
and for want of a horse the rider was lost;
being overtaken and slain by the enemy,
all for want of care about a horse-shoe nail.

Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth (1758).

Sure, this is just one version of an old proverb that utterly ignores every human being involved except the rider (officer who purchased his commission)/knight/king. There's no blacksmith to make the nail, nor farrier to properly install it, nor breeder nor stablekeeper to care for the horse, nor quartermaster to outfit the horse and rider, nor communications technician to make the message being carried by the rider (in other variants) both intelligible and secure, nor infantry dying on the field of battle waiting for the bloody message. The military-industrial complex, however, seems to be doing just fine... as is the bookkeeper or entrepreneur who was too damned cheap to pay either the people or the manufacturer for the damned nail in the first place.

PS I still say that Election Day should be moved to Veterans' Day... or, if it's too much interpretive gyration, move Veterans' Day to Election Day.