It's the 4th of July and everything is fairly quiet around St. Paul. Most folks are just laying low, hanging around with family and friends. I'll be at a Twins baseball game tonight and then get ready to head to LaCrosse in the morning.

I've been thinking about the shape of things lately, the way of the world and the future of this land. We're in a crazy time now, possessed of a politics of selfishness and a culture grown tired. It looks like another election where we'll have to choose which person hurts us less and a year when most of us will watch with open mouths as forces larger than us play the game with our lives as pieces.

Yet I know that some of this is real, some of this is hype, some of this is our foolishness, and some of this is just a generation coddled by materialism coming to terms with limits. And as bad as it can get sometimes I still am glad that over a century ago my great grandparents made the trip from what was then Prussia and came to this land. Things were hard for them, too, in their own way and they made it and I'd like to think that some of that spirit remains.

I've traveled to other countries. I respect other countries. But this one, the United States, is home and always will be.

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