Happy 244th Birthday!

A couple of years ago I made this list of things I love about my nation — the United States of America — and it is all still true. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe celebration of Independence Day. Maybe make your own list. I’d love to see it.


  1. I love that we have three co-equal branches of government.
  2. I love that criticizing leadership, elected officials, and policies we disagree with is an act of patriotism. America was born in rebellion!
  3. I love Election Nights. I’ll take Super Tuesday results over a Super Bowl any day.
  4. I love the Bill of Rights and the fundamental freedoms–religion, speech, press, assembly, personal protection, and trial by jury.
  5. I love that we can amend our Constitution to correct wrongs, like slavery.
  6. I love all of those Lincoln/Kennedy comparisons.
  7. I love that spot in Michigan where I can look south and be looking at Canada.
  8. I love that the French helped us beat the Brits, and then we repaid the favor by kicking the Nazi’s out of France.
  9. I love the ideals of our Founding Fathers–equality, opportunity, fairness under the law, and liberty.
  10. I love that we chose English as our language, because English is so messed up and thus is more fun to play with.
  11. I love that Texas history is pretty much American history.
  12. I love the Southwest–desert, cactus, dry, and beautiful.
  13. I love Puget Sound.
  14. I love the sugar white beaches of Destin.
  15. I love the unique characteristic of each region of the nation, that New Yorkers and Idahoans share the same love of country and national destiny, but not the same culture.
  16. I love how we are an amalgamation of so many different peoples–Germans, French, Mexican, Irish, Iranian, Native American, Polynesian, and so many other rich heritages that add to this unique experience of being American.
  17. I love the classic movies of Hollywood–Casablanca, Red River, North by Northwest, Bullitt, and Mars Attacks.
  18. I love Hamburgers with mustard, onions, tomatoes and French fries doused in ketchup washed down with a cherry Coke.
  19. I love American cars and blue jeans.
  20. I love the American Flag. It has an intrinsic beauty beyond the sum of its parts.
  21. I love baseball at the diamond on a hot day.
  22. Speaking of baseball, I love that our national anthem is practically unsingable–because who wants an easy national anthem!

A MEMORIAL DAY MEDITATION

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Memorial Day–The day to remember.  We should remember more often than one day a year.  But then again, we are a nation that celebrates thankfulness with gluttony and day-after materialism.  We celebrate the birth of our Lord with credit card debt.  Why then shouldn’t we remember with cookouts and big sales on mattresses and cars.

Remember–Remember what?  Remember that people:  Men and women, white, black, Asian, Latino, Native American, rich, poor, Christian, Jewish, atheist, Islamic, straight, gay, citizen and non-citizen, people from every imaginable walk of life,  gave their lives for us to enjoy liberty.  They did not give us the liberty, what they did was to secure the liberty; safeguard it, protect it.  Those who serve today have made the same commitment; they have said by their actions, “If necessary, I will give myself to preserve our way of life.”  No words could ever be employed to adequately convey the gratitude I feel for those individuals.

Remember–Remember what?  Remember that our nation is unique in that it is fundamentally constituted to preserve individual freedoms and rights.  What kind of rights?  These rights:

1.  Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.

2.  Right to bear arms.

3.  Right to not have troops quartered in your home.

4.  Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

5.  Right to due process of law and freedom from self-incrimination.

6.  Right to a speedy and public trial.

7.  Right to a trial by jury.

8.  Freedom from excessive bail and from cruel and unusual punishment

9.  Rights not listed are reserved for people.

10. The states are free to govern themselves within the framework of the federal government.

This is a summary of the Bill of Rights.

Remember–Remember what?  I remember when privacy was the expected norm instead of the aberration.  I remember when there were no speech police monitoring every utterance.  I remember when the press did their job and spoke truth to power.  I remember when people were tried by a jury in a court of law, not tried in the tabloid media and internet posts.  I remember when American Citizens were not executed without due process.  I remember when we thought torture is what the bad guys did.  I remember being able to say what you believe without having to qualify it with overtures of public tolerance.  I remember catching an airplane without being molested.

I remember.