Thursday, July 02, 2009

Happy 2nd of July

James O. Born

Since I don’t post on Saturdays this is the best you’re gonna get. But on the bright side, I am passionate about the United States and Americans. Yeah, I know it’s chic to knock both the residence and residents, but I don’t care, as Lee Greenwood might say, “I’m proud to be an American.” You can disagree, leave snotty comments, you can even scream, “Congress is full of shit.” And you know what will happen to you? Bupkis, nada, nothing, not even a dirty look. People can rant that we’re not free, that Americans are oppressed, that the government is screwed up. I think those people need to travel somewhere other than Canada and Virgin Islands.

Yes, mistakes are made. People definitely face hardships here in the good old U.S. Our government’s decisions have adversely affected other countries. But look at the alternatives. Right now in Iran people are being imprisoned and killed for speaking out. But here, Americans can openly debate President Obama’s even-tempered, intelligent response to Iran and it’s pigmy, goat-faced president, who’s name I can barely say let alone spell.

In two days we celebrate he birth of a democracy which has seen the peaceful transfer of power from our first President -- who had many models of autocratic rule and some wanted to be made King -- to our most recent transfer, where people generally didn’t feel that way. In fact, even stories about the military takeover of the United States are generally considered science fiction.

Over the years I’ve heard people, famous and not, say that “if so-and-so is elected, I’m moving overseas.” If only these morons would follow through with their commitments. Where would the country be if people moved every time things got rough or we didn’t agree with who was in power? It’s sort of the opposite of a democracy. If not my way then I hit the highway. That is inspiring.

Things can’t be that bad here. About 6.6 million Americans live overseas and that includes military and Federal employees stationed in foreign countries. Yet there are about 33.1 million aliens in the country. If America were a ride at Disney, it would have long freaking line.

I’m not trying to be political in any way. I love America, I’m proud of Americans. A couple of weeks ago a young person I was speaking with compared the Nazi attempt to conquer the world with the U.S. I stared in disbelief. Could someone really be that ignorant of history? She clarified by saying that through the export of U.S. consumerism and culture others adopt it. Yeah, not quite the same thing. When I mentioned the comment to an older person I know who was a Polish displaced person and has lived in the U.S. since the late 1940s, he was outraged. His response showed me relativity. I was just annoyed at an ignorant dufus, but then again, I didn’t have my family killed, town destroyed and life shattered.

This is a rambling way of saying, I love America. My father fought in World War II. He had an appreciation for what things could be like and passed it on to his children. In two days I’ll take a moment while I watch fireworks and say a little thank you to everyone who risked their lives to defy King George, defend the country, work in the Peace Corps, teach in schools, work in a hospital, do social work, pick up garbage, save an wild animal or anything else that Americans tend to do.

What do you appreciate or annoys you about the country?


  1. I appreciate freedom of speech. I am annoyed by those Americans who have a different view and press me not to express mine--because I am "wrong."

    Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of our democracy.

    God Bless America!


  2. This is the day -- or weekend-- for love of country to be displayed. My American flag is up. Well, it's always up. It's on a stand in the foyer.

    I agree with Terrie. Those First Amendment rights -- speech, religion, petition, assembly -- are precisely what differentiate the USA from dictatorships.

    The difficult task is to have our reality meet our aspirations.

  3. I think the majority of us love our country but it's our cynicism and our willingness to question authority that keeps everybody honest, at least for the most part.

  4. Last year, I gave the finger to George Bush, at the time the most powerful man in the world, and no one shot at me or had me arrested.

    That's why I'll fly the flag this weekend.

  5. James O. Born7/02/2009 11:50 AM

    All well said.

    Terrinore, you give everyone the finger.


  6. A little late, but I'm thankful for a political system that allows our country's laws to evolve peacefully (with one notable exception) as our society changes.