IS THIS A GREAT COUNTRY OR WHAT?!?

Yeah, I know! The government, the leaders, and the whole system seems like a total joke lately. Our two candidates for presidents are absolute jokes. One is crazy and the other is corrupt. You can decide which is which. I live in California, and our governor “Moonbeam” is responsible for creating the worst water situation in modern history.     But, you know what? That’s the beauty of the greatest nation in the world’s history. I’ll tell you a story as an example:

About ten years ago, we were having a church dinner, and I was sitting next to someone who told me about his Russian roommate. “Every morning, this guy wakes up, comes to breakfast, and shouts out, ‘George Bush is an IDIOT!’ He does this about five times in a row! One morning, I had to ask him, “Hey, why do you bash our President?” You know what he said? “Because I can.”

Most countries have been created because of borders being drawn because someone defeated someone else in a battle. In America, we formed a country based on certain ideas. Yes, we had slavery, but as Jefferson said during the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence, it was a horrible blot that would eventually be dealt with; the cause of freedom from England necessitated a compromise with the Southern slave-holding states in order to unify for Independence. Life is filled with trade offs.

That is one of the strengths of our country: we have freedoms other places only dream of. Sure, they seem to be eroding (we’ll talk about the IRS at another time), but we still have incredible religious, family and business opportunities. Why else does the rest of the world try to come here? For In and Out  Burgers? Actually, that is a factor, indirectly.

So, instead of a top ten music list, I’ve put together a list of WHY AMERICA IS THE GREATEST LAND

1)      It started out in 1620 as a place not for religious freedom, but to make it a God fearing country. My wife is an ancestor of William Bradford, America’s first governor and historian, and his book The Plymouth Plantation is an eye opener.

2)      As a South American President once wrote to Abe Lincoln, “Our people came to this country for gold; yours came for God.” A country based on a love and fear of God is NOT a bad reason for living here. Have we been perfect? By no means, but we always try to learn from our mistakes, which leads to:

3)      What other country had a civil war (which took over 700,000 lives) over the issue of freeing the slaves? Other countries didn’t have to deal with this issue because they just killed off all of their slaves. We try to correct and atone for our sins.

4)      THE US CONSTITUTION-Yes, it gets hammered, and they’ve tried to change its original intentions, but it’s still one of the most wonderful contributions to Western Civilization. What other country was founded on an IDEA?

5)      In God We Trust, E Pluribus Unum and Liberty-what wonderful concepts to live by!

6)      Where else can you go to a restaurant, owned by a Korean, that serves great French food, which is served by a Mexican with a French mustache? If you go to Italy, all you’re going to get is Italian food-here, just within a mile from my house, you’ve got Thai, Indian, Malaysian, Israeli, Korean, BBQ, Persian, Greek, Chinese, and, oh yes, Italian. Just last week, I took my daughter to a Middle Eastern diner, and a Hispanic lady was serving us. Just to confirm a suspicion, I went next door to the Mexican joint and, sure enough, an Armenian guy was working behind the counter! I LOVE THIS COUNTRY!!!

7)      Want to change your belief system? It’s your choice. Do that in some place like Egypt and you and your family risk losing your job, home and life!

8)      Baseball! Sure, it’s slow, but so what? That’s the beauty of it! Every pitch has meaning if you’re a sports nerd, and the voluminous information from the baseball’s statistical history is a glorious way to develop a knowledge of absolutely unimportant information.

9)      Church and church picnics. We are a religious people, and God honors this.

10)   JAZZ! What other music was created only in America! Just like baseball and the Constitution, people have tried to destroy it, but it just keeps coming back.

11)   American novels, biographies and autobiographies. Mark Twain, Oswald Chambers, Stephen Ambrose, John Steinbeck, Herman Wouk…oh, my mouth is watering!

12)   Radio voices: Dr. Demento, Vin Scully, Mel Allen,  James Janese, Kurt Gowdy, Chick Hearn…

13)   TOMMY’S BURGERS! PINKS HOT DOGS!

14)   Sandy beaches with actual waves and no pollution.

15)   Route 66!

16)   Peanut Butter!

17)   Whitewater Rapids-American River in CA, Okoee in TN, Gauley in West VA-my mouth is watering!

18)   The Rockies, Smokies, Blue Ridge, Appalachians; Hiking Everywhere!

19)   The Star Spangled banner before every game, God bless America for the 7th Inning Stretch

20)   John Phillips Souza, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, DUKE ELLINGTON

21) John Ford movies; John Wayne, James Stewart, James Cagney, Frank Capra movies, Ward Bond…

21)   God bless America!

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