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BBHQ Boomer Essays:

What’s Right About the USA

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer’s perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

This is are not a bad country; this is not an evil country. This is a great country! We are not greedy people; we are not guilty of endless atrocities. We are a country made up of the most generous and most compassionate people on earth. We do not seek to rule the world or conquer other lands. We are not destroying the environment. We are doing more to make this a better place for all of us to live in than any other people in any other country at any time in history.

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January, 2009 --

As they do every year, last week the media provided us with the standard year-end summary. This time it was mostly about the "wasted decade," or "lamentable year." After all, 2009 was the year of the apology. So, we should all echo the theme set by the president? So goes the mainstream media.

Most profoundly, I disagree. I am sick and tired of hearing about what is wrong with our country, how we have supposedly failed in our global responsibilities, how we have screwed up the world. That is false and dangerous propaganda, ladies and gentlemen. I'm going to set the record straight this week.

I am sick and tired of hearing, over and over again, about what's wrong with this country, It's about time we focused on what is right -- because what is right is so much more powerful and significant than whatever may be wrong.

Race Relations: Don't talk to me about race problems. Sure there are some race problems here. But most of them are propagated by the media and despicable race-baters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, not by 300 million Americans, the overwhelming majority of whom are not racists and want very much to simply live and let live. The United States is the most diverse country on earth, and has done more than any other country to resolve its race problems. Any able-bodied, able-minded person in this country can obtain a solid education, get a good job, and achieve "the American dream," regardless of race, religion, sex, or any other inherited characteristic. There is more opportunity for individual success in this country than anywhere else in the world.

Are race relations better today than they were three years ago? Whose fault is that?

What Recession?: We have heard the word "recession" a thousand times in the news. Some commentators, including the president, have referred to this as "the worst economic crisis since the great depression." Maybe so. But look at the traffic during rush hour; look at the crowds at the malls; look at the crowds in the football stadiums. Some recession, huh?

Unemployment: I remind you that an unemployment rate of 10% -- however undesirable that is -- still means an employment rate of 90%. The unemployed factory worker in the United States lives on unemployment and union benefits (for up to 4 years!) far better that most working people in most of the rest of the world. There should be limits to one's sympathy for the unemployed in the United States.

Don't talk to me about being unemployed. If you can hold a hammer, you can get a job in New Orleans. Folks there will be rebuilding after hurricane Katrina for the next 15 years. The pay is good, the opportunities are excellent, and the jobs are plentiful. Don't talk to me about not being able to find a job!

Health Care: We have the best health care system in the world... by far. No person on American soil is denied emergency medical care in the United States. The poorest Americans receive far better health care than the richest persons in most of the rest of the world. If we have a health care crisis, it is caused mostly by our own personal neglect and lack of self-discipline. Do not blame that on Barack Obama... or George Bush. You know for whom the bell tolls. Don't complain to me... or to anyone... about that.

The Military: We do not use our overwhelmingly superior military power to control the world -- though we could. The military force that so many of you despise has conquered no land on behalf of the United States. But over the past 15 years, it has freed over 100 million people from ruthless dictators.

We (the United States) are fighting a war against international terrorists who hate everything about the civilized world. They started this war; we did not. And we -- the United States -- seem to be about the only country that recognizes this danger, and is doing something substantive about it. Those most critical of our actions seem to be those who are at the greatest danger from the terrorists. Let me remind you something: if it were not for the U.S. military, you folks would be speaking German, or wearing burkas and forced to kneel down and pray to Mecca five times a day. I am fed up with you people blindly tearing down the country that carries the primary responsibility for your freedom.

Note to terrorists throughout the world: It is not our fault that your life sucks!

It is not our fault that you find so little value in your own life that you are willing to give it up in order to kill innocent people. I make no apology for wanting fervently to kill you before you kill innocent people.

You don't like that? Tough! Drop dead! See if I care! Just leave me and freedom-loving people throughout the world alone.

Energy: Sure we use a lot of energy. Ya' know why? Because we can, that's why. Our freedom and our economic system -- yes, capitalism -- has made us the wealthiest and most prosperous country on earth. That is no sin. That is no crime. That is an enormous achievement that is the envy of the world. And however much energy we use does not mean that other countries must use less.

Aside from providing ourselves with the highest standard of living in the world, do you know what we do with all that energy we use? We feed the rest of the world, that's what. We develop life-saving medical drugs that we give to the rest of the world. We provide food, clothing, manpower, medical supplies, equipment, and countless other resources to the world. In addition to being the most prosperous country in the world -- or perhaps because of it -- we are also the most generous.

Al Gore did not invent the creation that is connecting the world electronically. The United States did. The Internet would be more like tin cans and a wax string were not for the United States.

The reason that people in third-world countries do not create as much greenhouse gas as we do is because they live in the dark ages... literally. We launder our clothes in automated clothes washers. Citizens of third-world countries hand-wash their clothes in rivers. Their dirty washwater is used as drinking water by the next town downstream. Pardon me if I reject that in favor of the automated clothes washer, which uses water that has been treated by systems that are run by energy-creating power plants. I make no apology for refusing to go back to the dark ages.

Capitalism: And you know what has made our standard of living possible? Capitalism -- the free market system! Thirty-five years ago, the term "personal computer" was an oxymoron. Twenty years ago, a PC cost $1,500. Today, you can buy one for under $300. Government bailout? Government subsidy? Just the opposite. It is the free marketplace at work. Twenty years ago, a cell phone cost about $500; you paid a dollar a minute to use one. Today, many of them cost under $15. And cell-phone minutes... loose change. You want another example? I could name a thousand. Our lives are immeasurably better, in countless ways... because of the free market system.

Those people protesting capitalism are disgustingly ignorant. They have been brainwashed by our public schools and the government to believe that someone or some company owes them a job and the standard of living of their choosing. They do not understand the first thing about what creates wealth and an admirable standard of living. THEY are part of what is wrong with America, not the rest of us who make the country work.

Twenty years ago, a first-class postage stamp cost 29 cents. Today, it costs 44 cents... and is about to rise again. The free market system? No; government control and interference is responsible.

Name for me one thing that the government provides or controls that is better, more efficient, and less expensive today than it was 20 years ago. One thing.

This is are not a bad country; this is not an evil country. This is a great country! We are not greedy people; we are not guilty of endless atrocities. We are a country made up of the most generous and most compassionate people on earth. We do not seek to rule the world or conquer other lands. We are not destroying the environment. We are doing more to make this a better place for all of us to live in than any other people in any other country at any time in history.

I should not have to be the one to remind all of us of this. The president of the United States -- the leader of our country -- should be telling this story... loudly and frequently. But he chooses not to do so.

I just did.


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