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Then once I hit the Oregon state line, there were all these bridges that I went over, soaring high above the rivers and sounds. They were all old, built in the 1950's, in the better days of a greater nation, in the days of can-do America, in the days when it was understood that there were no problems that could not be solved by American ingenuity and American will, in the days when by application of American know-how on a massive scale we had conquered the most evil empire to ever exist on the planet and while we faced another evil empire, we were sure we would eventually win out there too. Those were the days when we were by-god Americans, not a bunch of huddled frightened timid sheep to be led around by the rings in our noses. Even the problems of racism and segregation seemed solvable then. Today.... these bridges and the road they support probably could not be built today. We lack the resources, or the will, to drive highways through such forbidding territory to serve people who, well shouldn't have chosen to live in such forbidding places.

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