Tag Archive | "America"

We Started a Joke (that started the whole world laughing)

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Bin Laden Laughing

How many times have we heard or uttered the phrase, “Only in America!”   What should be a declaration of respect has become a paean to the stupidity of the once-greatest nation on the face of the earth.

 

Where else in the world can you find a country that denies inalienable rights to its citizens and gives them to our enemies?   While Americans languish in prisons the world over and beg on our streets for bits of sustenance, we offer our enemies holding facilities whose accommodations rival those of the finest hotels.  These include a choice of meals, spotless bathrooms, and areas designated specifically for exercise and religious worship.  What a joke!

 

Speaking of worship, we vehemently defend the religious freedoms of peoples across the globe, but not here on our home turf.   Here, we allow the ACLU and other rapists of the Constitution to define “separation of Church and State” as the prohibition of religious iconography in public places, even during religious holidays.  What a joke!

 

We claim to have the highest standard of living in the world, and yet, most of us work for wages that do not support that claim.  What a joke!

 

While the rest of the world does what it pleases to the environment, we are saddled with environmental legislation.  Compliance with these laws raises our costs, and lowers our standards, of living.  What a joke!

 

We save marsh rats in San Francisco and minnows in California, but deny water rights to struggling American farmers in the San Joachim Valley.  What a joke!

 

We have become a nation of hypocrites with ethnic slurs and frivolous lawsuits, while our personal freedoms are going down the toilet.  What a joke!

 

I am sure our “friends” abroad have a word akin to the “N” word for all Americans.  I’m sure it gives them a lot of laughs whenever they reiterate it in their own language, “Only in America!”

 

It’s time for the joke to end.  The concept of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was established by our founding fathers for Americans and no one else.  I”d like to be able to laugh when America stops throwing our taxpayers’ hard earned money at foreign nations to help them solve their problems.

The Curious Case of Christopher Columbus: A Study in Historical Revisionism

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Christopher Columbus

Attorneys can be disbarred.  Saints can be de-canonized (just ask St. Christopher, the guy who used to protect us as we took our lives into our hands on the Jersey highways).  So what do you call it when the man credited with discovering America is no longer honored, as he was in the recent past, with his own day and parades replete with marching bands?  I’m really not sure what to call it, other than a miscarriage of justice for the great Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus.

 

Far more progressive and controversial than his contemporaries, Columbus postulated that the world was not flat but round.  Columbus’ theory put forth that a spherical planet would enable a faster trade route to the East, wherein lay all manner of goods and beaucoup bucks, as we say today, for those who traded those goods.  With visions of riches dancing in his head, Columbus made his sales pitch to the King of Spain, who was both tolerant and solvent.  It was a good sales pitch, for it earned the explorer three fine ships and a crew by which he had planned to haul back the goods, create new wealth for himself and the Spanish monarch, and offer the people of Europe the luxuries of the Orient.

 

Instead of discovering a new route to the East, Columbus ran ashore of the New World (America).  Planting the flag of Spain on North American soil, he dubbed and befriended the native “Indians”, for indeed, he’d assumed initially that he’d hit India.   Eventually, he found his way to the Caribbean, where he located the spices and other interesting commodities for which he’d been hoping.

 

In his honor, October 12th was dedicated as Columbus Day: a day to remember the man who’d discovered this continent.   Not so very long ago, schools closed in Columbus’ honor.  Floats moved in stately fashion down the streets of our cities as well as small towns, such as the one in which I was raised.  Brass instruments flashed in the sun, children waved the Stars and Stripes, and entire communities marched in honor.  Everyone celebrated Columbus Day.

 

Inevitably, the Politically Correct came slinking out of their dark, foreboding crevasses to kill Columbus Day, just as they have been trying to do, systematically, with Christmas and Halloween.   Heated discussions arose as to whether or not Nordic explorers or even St. Brendan of Ireland discovered America before Christopher.  And then, of course, came the allegations that Columbus, through guilt by very tenuous association and many generations removed, was responsible for the near-obliteration of the “Indians” (Native Americans).

 

Ergo, no more annual Columbus Day parades, except for those few surviving in proud Italian-American communities, such as Bensonhurst, in Brooklyn, New York.

 

At the time when The Troubles were rampant in Northern Ireland, Great Britain published history books that showed maps of Ireland removed of the 9 offensive Northern counties.  England effectively rewrote history, as it was a bit uncomfortable.  Across the globe, Japanese history books made no mention of the events of Pearl Harbor.  When Japanese tourists visit Hawaii for the first time, they are shocked and horrified to learn of this portion of their history that has been buried.

 

Now that we’ve removed the pomp and circumstance, along with the pride we once felt surrounding Columbus Day, is America now guilty of rewriting history to make things comfortable for the so-called Politically Correct?

Whatever Happened to America?

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statue-of-liberty

Growing up during the Great Depression, life seemed to be simpler.  There were no televisions, telephones, or credit cards, and there were surely less automobiles on the road.  Those who would come to invent the Internet were not even born!   During those times, the average family had but a sole provider to make ends meet.  With the nation plunged into a Depression, my own father had a tough time keeping us housed, clothed, and fed.  But despite the low rate of employment, he managed to pull us all through some very tough times.

 

As Dad worked long hours to earn a living, Mom remained at home, the nurturing figure central to our lives.  Upon her shoulders rested everything not linked to the production of a steady paycheck: the care of the children, maintenance of the house, the laundry and mending of clothing (we recycled four decades before it became the norm), the preparation of three meals a day, and everything that went along with those responsibilities.  Her work was never done.

 

Those times were hard on everyone and it took teamwork to survive those ordeals.  Even we children had our roles and tasks to make life a little easier on Mom.  As soon as we were old enough, we would wash and dry the dishes after supper, run errands, and take care of our daily needs as best we were able.

 

However, life did not center completely upon work.  In retrospect, our “downtime” was exceptionally sweet, as it could only be enjoyed as the result of hard work and focus.  Today’s standards of recreation, with their emphasis upon computers and other electronic gadgets, probably make our earlier forms of pleasure seem medieval by comparison.   The sources of entertainment in those days consisted of playing stickball and other games with friends, reading books, gathering around the radio in delicious anticipation of a mystery-serial such as “The Shadow Knows,” and if you were lucky enough to own a Victrola, as my family was, we also played the music of that era.  (A Victrola was a machine that played large, flat, round disks; that’s how recorded music was pressed and heard in those days.  No ITunes and no IPods!)  As a family, we would also go hiking in the Wissahickon Park, sail down the Delaware River on the Wilson Line, or visit our relatives. All of life’s problems seemed to vanish when we were enjoying ourselves.

 

After surviving the Great Depression, our next challenge was that of World War II, a global conflict that changed not only our nation’s economy but also set the stage for the huge social transformations that would ultimately follow.   As men were drafted into the war, leaving gaping holes in the employment arena, the role of women changed.  Entering the factories, they made airplanes, parachutes, and other items critical to the war effort.   Those employed in other types of manufacturing facilities produced the things needed and used by those still on American soil.  Even children got involved in supporting our troops overseas.  It was a time for everyone to rally around the Flag and put their shoulders to the wheel.

 

World War II ended victoriously for America as we entered the Atomic Age.  Men fortunate enough to return home from the conflict married and raised families whose children later bore the moniker “Baby Boomers.”  The housing industry exploded, as homes were needed to meet the demands of these families.  Household equipment, whose manufacture had slowed considerably in order to produce the items needed for the war, once again enjoyed a surge in production and sales.  These included automobiles and washing machines.  The emergence of television ushered in an entire new galaxy of employment opportunities as well as a new form of entertainment.  With the Depression over and the war won, “Happy days were here again.”

 

As we entered the Space Age, America enjoyed great economic growth.  Neil Armstrong, the astronaut who took the famous “one great step for mankind” on the moon was an American.  The stock market soared to over 1,000 and we became the Great Society.  During this time of prosperity, we forgot the lessons learned in surviving the Great Depression.  As more than one historian has observed, “History teaches us nothing;” it was just a matter of time until the economic bubble broke once more.  The course our nation had set itself upon was akin to that of the Roman Empire.

 

Although we are today experiencing another economic Depression, all is not lost. America’s greatness did not and does not stem from its government; from its inception, our nation’s accomplishments are direct results of the resourcefulness and resilience of its people.  Our elected leaders have grown rich and lazy, more interested in self worth than fulfilling the will of the people who elected them. When he left his second term in office, George Washington, our first President, was deeply concerned about the direction in which the country was heading.  He felt that the two-party system would fail to enact the principles upon which this country had been founded.  If President Washington were here today to witness the state of our economy and what has happened in government, I think even he would be shocked!

 

Along with our elected leaders, our own citizenry has grown fat and lazy, willing to accept whatever government dictates.  More public interest is shown for sports events than to the task of upholding the tenets established in our Founding Fathers’ Constitution.

 

Once again, it is time to rally around the Flag and demonstrate the will of the people.  If you wish to initiate positive change, exercise the First Amendment.  Write to your elected officials and tell them how you want to see our beloved Country run.

 

“Remember the Roman Empire!”  And also remember:  “The pen is mightier than the sword!”

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