At least once a year I try to celebrate what my country means to me. What a great holiday to do just that. I won't celebrate with fireworks much anymore but I will try to provide an explosion of the pride I have in my country.
Even with a few wrinkles and blemishes, America has a lot going for it. If you doubt that, just try to count the number of people that want to come here illegally. There is a number somewhere between 11 and 30 million undocumented Mexicans trying to make enough money to survive and send home some money so their families can live. I don't completely oppose amnesty, but feel that it is a lot like what people say they don't like about Wal-Mart. Amnesty allows everyone to come here and normal immigration laws selects the best and brightest to come here. The illegals currently are working for low wages and exist not prosper. Next time you see a roofing crew, look at what they wear for shoes and clothes.
One of the big failures I see is that there are a lot of people that see equal opportunity and want equal outcomes. If someone else didn't get a college education and didn't work two jobs most of their lives, why should they have the same benefits that I have. Is am fond of seeing equal opportunity as a starting place and I tell everyone to get in line. Just don't expect to finish the race in first place with half an effort or after using drugs. Sometimes you have to work hard to make it in this world. Visions are just dreams unless you show up in work clothes most of the time.
With that said, I have found that over my lifetime that if I showed up to work sober and worked hard, I could often outdistance my fellow workers. I read that if you dress like your boss does it helps and I found most times neat and clean works for me.
Believe it or not, I always found a good sense of humor carried me a long way. I love to laugh and tell stories and often as not, I find the stupid things I did when I was younger meat for the jokes. I do ask that people leave my mother and wife out of the stories because I have a crazy love for them. I just can't smile as much when they are laughed at and I am such fair game. I am just struck dumb about Paula Dean. I said so many stupid and hurtful things 40 years ago and I know now that it could have been bad. Today, I at least mutter when I say stupid things and try not to say them out loud.
For the Political Correctness crowd, I offer the following expressions to use. "Cheese and Crackers," works for loud noises. "Shut the Front Door" for stupid things said by others and a simple smile for really offensive things works for me. Often what you don't say is better than what you can say. I wish you could all meet Barbara and her sense of what not to say. I asked her today if she wanted to offer her choice of "Butt Naked or Buck Naked?" She smiled and said simply "No."
In early August, I am going to visit Yellowstone, our first National Park. It is one of the places I have always wanted to go and so far never worked it in to my places to see or be. I will use it as one of the places that shows us how great the Geography and scenery can be. I am excited to take my binoculars and camera there and see and capture all I can. The wonder of Digital Photography is that you can see the glory of your pictures without the wait to see what develops. I am always blown away with the pictures that Barb takes. I will take pictures of hills and waterfalls and she will see the dragon flies on the rocks. I see a herd of Buffalo and she will see the calf by its mother. I am Macro and she is Micro in her vision.
This month, I will help celebrate the 90th Birthday of two WWII Vets. One is my Uncle who was a Pilot and the other is my Father-in-law who was a grunt. I am proud of them both and fear that the men and women of the era are not going to around that much longer. My Mom and Dad are both gone and I miss them.
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