I just finished hanging up my American Flag outside my home here in N.SD County, for the very first time. Surrounded by lavender, hibiscus, mandevilla, palm trees, japonica, oleander, humming bird feeders, Allen's & Roufus & Anna's hummingbirds, and flapping gently in the 72F, 5 mph, intermittent breeze 3 miles from the ocean, it struck me as particularly beautiful... even with the gray over-cast sky.
I am appreciative that I live in a country where I can speak English, and not German (link here) - and English is Still spoken around the world by more people than any other language who control more of the world's capital and decisioning making (even with nearly 1.4 Billion Chinese, not all of whom speak Mandarin), with the most influence internationally;
|We hope to replace this grass with mulch and rock in the next 2 months, with the drought|
[I once, while waiting for my company car to pick me up, observed a French business man try and check out of a very poorly run South Korea hotel in Changwon, "Hotel International" - a total pit, very unpleasant, highly NOT recommended for anyone who wants a pleasant stay - using only French. The poor man tried and tried, but the hotel clerk just looked blankly back at him, until in broken English, and with great venom & distaste in his pronunciation, he was able to pay his bill and leave the wretched hotel].
I have been able to live & work in multiple states, without the central government approving it (unlike my friends in China, who need central approval to relocate), [link here] going from Indiana, to South Carolina, then back to Indiana, then back to South Carolina 3 years later; then to Arizona for 5, OC California for 2.5, and now Northern San Diego County, where I hope I don't have to move again any time soon.
In this country, I don't have religious fundamentalists telling me how I can dress, what I can eat & drink, and what kind of music I am allowed to play in my home without head phones, like the Basiji do in Iran and the Mutaween do in Saudi Arabia.
In this country I don't have to worry that we are on the brink of national bankruptcy, as the Republicans & many Libertarians kept screaming we were when President Obama took office (yes months earlier, in the same financial conditions under Bush, no one on the right seemed to notice or care about a growing national debt - a debt which the Democrats have once again substantially paid down after the Republicans ran it up... again)... and it is not Greece with radicals on both the left and right rioting in the streets because their government has not had a spine to be able to make any hard choices and implement any austerity effectively for the last 4 bankruptcies.
America has its problems, but it is still a pretty damn good place to live & work and raise a family. I am grateful to the men & women in the US military who have fought to keep us free, as well as grateful to the Federal leaders (Presidents, Secretaries of State, Senators, etc) who have kept us OUT of wars over the centuries making the spilling of the blood of our military unnecessary (Sorry Lindsey & McCain, we Don't need to bomb Iran and [what's left of] Syria and everywhere else that makes you wet your bed). It's an English speaking, free movement of labor & capital (relatively, Joe M) =-) , pleasant country where peacocks can picnic wherever they please... "freedom baby, that's what it's all about!" [Freedumb Weekend Aloft, Greenville SC, 1992, yelled by a drunk redneck next to a fully armed A-10 warthog, at Donaldson Center].
Happy Fourth of July to everyone, no matter where you live!