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Why America Is Still Great

 

One of my favorite movie scenes is the “What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us?” scene from the Monty Python movie comedy, The Life of Brian.

    
                                   

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Sometimes I feel like many Americans hold beliefs about the United States of America like that fictional group held about the Romans. We have it so good here that sometimes we can’t see and appreciate the forest for the trees.

Many of the freedoms, privileges, rights, and material goods we enjoy we don’t even see because they are so woven and entwined into the very fabric of our everyday lives, we take them for granted.

Sometimes it seems we complain about everything in America as if she was the worst country to ever plague the earth.

We too easily forget what is right and good about America. We forget what it is really like else where. For instance, millions of people around the world do not have access to clean running water to drink or shower every day. Nine-hundred million people in the world go hungry every day. Over two billion people in the world lack basic sanitation.

The United States of America was the first country to form a government based on the revolutionary concept that all people are created equal.

And while we have not always totally and completely lived up to the soaring rhetoric of The Declaration of Independence that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,”  we do try. It is our goal.

The short history of the United States of America has simply been the struggle of a people trying to live up to our rhetoric; trying to live up to the best that is within us. We may not have made it to the mountain top yet. But by God we are trying.

Democracy, or specifically a Constitutional Republic, is not easy.

Self rule is slow, noisy, contentious, loud and not always pretty.

Many people do not like the noise of freedom. It makes them anxious.

I love the vibrancy and noise of freedom and democracy!!!!

It shows the country is still alive, and doing exactly what the Founding Fathers hoped it would. That is, fight our battles and disagreements on how we achieve, “a more perfect union,” in local and state legislatures, in Congress and in the Courts, on TV and at rallies and not on the bloody battle fields of war. [Well, except for that one.]

Disagreeing is the American way. Instead of complaining about our disagreements we should celebrate them. It proves that self rule works!

We must preserve America despite her imperfections because, quite frankly, she is still the last best hope for human1 ant 6 kind. Our history is a testament to a slow yet continuous march to freedom. And that march must continue on. We must never allow the world to fall back into despotism, be it Hitler or any modern day tyrant!

When I was in college at the height of Vietnam War there was a popular bumper sticker that said, “America…Love Her or Leave Her.”

Then someone else countered with, “America… Fix Her or Forget Her.”

Over the years I have come to slowly understand that both sides in the bumper sticker debate were wrong.

The bumper sticker should say:  America….. Love Her and Together Let’s Make Her Better and Stronger.

A parent does not stop loving their child because they have made a mistake. Neither should we stop loving the United States of America because she is not perfect.

I am not giving up on America.
What Has America Ever Done For Us?

Freedom

Highest standard of living ever known to human kind

More food than we can eat

The inter state road system

Upward Mobility

USA Flag on the moon

Mars Curiosity

Internet

Carlos Santana

Automobiles

Baseball

Philly Cheesesteak

Blogging

County Fairs

Sully Sullenberger

Kindle

Hot dogs

Freedom of speech

Public schools

Private schools

An inexpensive college education (I did it on $3000.)

Fire fighters

Rock n Roll

Jeffrey Donovan

The American people

National Parks

State Parks

Opportunity

Steve Jobs

The Statue of Liberty

Bill of Rights

Saved the buffalo and eagles

The men and women who serve in our armed services

Hank Aaron

Twitter

My Twitter Friends

Pepsi

Diners

The Free Market

Mark Twain

Navy Seals

Broadway musicals

Walt Disney

What would you add to this list?
What has America done for you?

The group of men in the video above discovered the Romans were not so bad after all. And America, despite her shortcomings and mistakes is not so bad after all either.

So this July 4th, this 237th July 4th ,  let us celebrate America by: one, appreciating all she has given us; two, by acknowledging all of her positive achievements; and three, by pledging to go forward and make America even better than ever.

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Featured Recipe    Tortellini with Peas

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This is Almost One Pot Cooking.

Today’s recipe is perfect for days when you have no time at all because you can whip it together in a matter of minutes.

Or it is great after a holiday, like July 4th, when you really don’t want more holiday fare nor do you want to cook all day.

It is about as fast to make as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother waving her magic wand transforming Cinderella into a princess.

Yet is has loads and loads, and layers of flavor.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

1- 44 ounce bag cheese filled tortellini*

1- 12 ounce package of frozen peas

3 tablespoon butter

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

*Or little ravioli

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Optional: Prosciutto

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Here is what you do:

Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Cook tortellini according to package directions or to al dente – a couple of minutes less than package directions usually does it.  

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Place the frozen peas in a colander.

When the tortellini is cooked al dente, drain-pour the contents of the pot over the peas. Isn’t this a cool way to cook the peas? They don’t get too soft this way either.

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Return the tortellini and the peas to the pot. Add the butter, salt and pepper if using. Gently mix until the butter melts and the pasta and the peas are coated with the butter.

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Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, gently mix in.

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That’s it.  Done.  And so tasty. Hard to believe anything this simple and quick could be so high on taste.

If you are using the Prosciutto, cut it into thin strips and add to the finished dish. Prosciutto is also good wrapped around melon.

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 Serve with a fruit salad or salad greens. Pass additional Parmesan cheese around the table for extra cheese if desired.

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Bon appétit!!!

Cost

Cheesed tortellini                             $6.99

1- 12 ounce pck fzn peas                  $1.39

3 tablespoon butter                          $0.24

½ cup grated Parm cheese               $1.75

Optional: Prosciutto                          $3.00

Total cost = $10.37
Cost per person = $2.59
Cost per person with 2 slices Prosciutto = $3.34

Quote of the Day

America is far from perfect, and there is lots of room for improvement.
In spite of its flaws, however, the American life as it is lived today is
the best life that our world has to offer. Ultimately, America is worthy
of our love and sacrifice because, more than any other society, it makes
possible the good life, and the life that is good.

Dinesh D’Souza

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8 comments to Why America Is Still Great

  • I love tortellini and this looks wonderful.

    Happy 4th of July! I know it’s easy to see only the mistakes or the bits we don’t like but there’s no place like the USA.

    • Roberta

      Love tortellini too. You can do so much with it.

      I do my share of complianing, but as you say, there is no place like the USA.

  • Happy 4th of July.

    Wonderful to see someone standing up for America. I am one of (unfortunately) a minority of Canadians who is proud to be pro-America. If it was not for your great country, we would probably be at worst a Russian province, at best a Russian republic.

    Interesting, that in a recent survey on most desirable destinations to work as an ex-patriate, the USA came out tops at 24%. The next country, the UK was below 10%.

    If the USA was as bad as many people make out, why would you have a massive flood of illegal immigrants.

    My only fear, having seen my own former country destroyed by a government gone mad, is that individual rights and freedoms seem to be increasingly eroded by the onslaught of big brother type government regulation and political correctness. (Restricted soda sizes in NY for example) A problem even more evident in most of the Western countries.

    Unless my eyesight is failing me, I am overjoyed that you omitted hamburgers, they do not belong anywhere near a barbecue, that prime spot on the grill should be reserved for thick steaks, boerewors (traditional South African beef sausage), lamb chops, or fish and chicken.

    Finally, I would argue that the first Private Schools were established in the historic buildings and on the green lawns of places like Eton, Harrow and Rugby in the UK!

    • Roberta

      I so agree about steaks being on a grill. After Alaskan King Crab and lobster, a big, juicy, medium rare steak is my favorite food. I have a good steak a couple of times a month. Nothing more American than that.

      Thanks for being our friend.

  • Pete

    Wonderful!!!

  • Great recipe. My dad always says – we may not be perfect but we are the best of the imperfect.

    • Roberta

      What a fantastic quote from your dad. I love that – Best of the imperfect. I am going to quote your dad often and especially in next 4th post. Tell him I love him.