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Only In the U.S.

Word arrived that HitchBot died yesterday in Philadelphia.  Not just died, mind you, no, its arms were yanked off, he was kicked and decapitated.  Destroyed. Don't know who Hitchbot was, well, neither did I until I read the article?    

HitchBot was created by a couple guys in Ontario who created the chatty hitchhiker as a social experiment.  The mission was to see how people would interact with a talking manufactured robot sitting by the road with simple instructions on what to do, if they so chose.  he was immobile  totally dependent on people to assist him getting where he needed to go.  He wanted to go to across the U.S from Massachusetts to San Francisco.     

Hitchbot was equipped with a GPS and a camera and could converse with people who picked him up as well as a G3 connection so its parents could track its whereabouts.  

You can always count on old car enthusiasts to show guests a good time.

HitchBot had travelled safely across Canada,  Belgium and Germany.  But like Phar Lap, the Australian racing horse that died by nefarious means in the US in 1932, perhaps the better idea would have been to stay away from here.    

As far away as possible.  You see, Hitchbot and its parents, the US isn't what it used to be.  Nobody will admit to any kind of decline,  that is far too revealing a word.  We are certainly in denial. 

  • 16th in Where-To-Be-Born Index
  • 21st on Good Country Index
  • 23rd Satisfaction With Life Index
  • 44th in Health care efficiency
  • 46th in Freedom of the Press
  • 101st in Global Peace Index
  • 13th in Governmental transparency
  • Not even in top 30 in Environmental Protections
  • 24th in literacy
  • 66th in Religious diversity
  • 17th in educational performance
I'm tired of any more research on the subject.  We do however rank #1 in number of prisoners, citizen-to-gun possession, number of super rich and women's Olympic gold medals.  We apparently aren't very good with peaceful experimental robot hitchhikers either.  

Frankly, I'm mad and sad.  I know old guys bitch about the present, but I think this nation can do better.  How do we do it?  I don't have a clue.  Better citizen awareness?  More participation in what our kids are learning, or not learning at school?  Better voter education?      

It may start tonight when we have our first Republican debate.  Being an Independent I will be watching with great interest.  I have voted both parties in the past two Presidential elections so I am open.  I want to hear who will strengthen our infrastructure,  strengthen the middle class, will bring back manufacturing jobs,  will not be beholden to Big Banks or the Military Industrial Complex.  I want to see who will attempt reasonable and sane control of weapons,  who will throw off "business-as-usual" in Washington, who will create jobs and strengthen the economy for everyone.  

I'm not looking to be # 1 in all areas, but maybe we need to refocus our efforts as a great nation, and be our very best once again.  Maybe a nation that won't decapitate a harmless plastic 5-gallon bucket with a sense of humor.    


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