Ten Things That Make Me Proud To Be American

Inspired by the Brit list, here is mine.

In drawing up my list, I hearkened back to my travels outside the U.S., and asked myself:  what were the things I missed most whilst Over There, and what were the things I was glad to have or see when I returned?

My Top Ten (in order):

  1. the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  2. the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  3. the notion that what isn’t expressly forbidden, is allowed
  4. checks and balances on government
  5. the freedom to succeed or to screw up (and then to try again)
  6. a jillion TV channels
  7. huge pickup trucks
  8. restaurant- and other choices
  9. rodeos
  10. interstate highways

The first five on the list are self-evident, especially as they are almost universally absent from foreign countries;  and I’ll talk about that in yet another post because it deserves a longer exposition.

The last five points are personal, but important.

Only when your TV is confined to a few (usually State-controlled) channels do you realize how nice it is to have a choice — even among dreck.

Large pickup trucks are lovely — they are powerful, not really necessary (unless you’re pulling a large trailer or farming) and one of the things that tourists comment on the most.  And the fact that pickup trucks are by far the most popular choice among ordinary Americans says it all.

Drive along a non-U.S. highway with a gnawing hunger and see how hard it is to find a restaurant of any description along the way.  Granted, our choices are often only from the Usual Suspects (the top 30 chains), but at least there’s a choice.  In Yurp, you often have to go into a town to buy food, which is okay if you’re a tourist, but it must suck if you’re a local.

Nothing says “America” like a damn rodeo:  tough people doing a dangerous thing for fun.

It’s only when you’re trying to get from point A to point B without having to go through C, D and E that you appreciate the freedom associated with our highways.  Now, as  rule I myself try to avoid the stupid things as much as possible;  but when you need one, it’s there for you to use.

Conspicuously absent from my list are things that are uniquely American, but that don’t touch me:  the Grand Canyon, the Empire State Building, Broadway shows, the Rocky Mountains, etc. etc.  Landscape features are just things — the Grand Canyon is a large hole in the ground, the Hoover Dam is a chuck of concrete, every country has a Broadway, the Alps are just as stunning as the Rockies, and so on.

But a busy shooting range and gun show (see point #1) are so much more American than anything one may find elsewhere, and ditto all the other related stuff in each point.

The Ultimate American Car

Over the years, I have got a ton of flak from my Readers about my love of European cars, and especially my preference for European cars over American ones (never mind the Japanese and others).

In the above post, I created my list of things that make me proud to be American — and yet, it does make me just a trifle ashamed that among those things, I only mentioned American-made trucks, and a generic admiration at that.

So I set about doing some research about American cars, but apart from a very few, I found little to enthuse about.  And to be frank, with the possible exception of the latest models of Corvettes, there are no American cars of recent vintage that get my juices running and my manly parts excited. Of course, that means I have to go back in time — like that should come as a surprise to anyone who has even a passing familiarity with my rants and fevered scribblings — and really, it’s only as far back as the 1950s where I start thinking of cars that are proudly and unmistakably American.

Sure, there’s the late 1950s-era Chev Bel-Air:

…whose shape is admittedly more American in spirit than at least five American presidents I could name;  but Chevy is a boring marque.  Underneath all that chrome and those fins is just… [snore]

There’s also the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz:

Once again, it says (or rather, bellows) “American!!!” but really, despite the four tons of chrome and the space-program fins, it’s more of a land barge than a car.

Nah, we have to look further and delve deeper into that era.

Which brings me to my absolute favorite American car:  the 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk.

Oh, please.  A snorting, powerful supercharged 4.7-liter V8 (okay, 289 cu.in.) which gave the light-bodied Hawk an 0-60mph acceleration time of 4.8 seconds and a top end of over 125mph, which blew the doors off its Dodge, Ford and Chevy competitors.

The Golden Hawk was probably the first true American muscle car, and if that doesn’t get my starter motor cranking, nothing will.  The GH also has matchless American looks — even though it was styled by Raymond Loewy, a Frenchman(!) — and in contrast to its European sporting counterparts, it’s a proper four-seater sports car and not the Euro-style “2+2” (meaning “fits two adults up front and two legless dwarves in the back”).

And it has a bench front seat so that you can cuddle up to your sweetheart at the drive-in movie (or anywhere else).  Let’s not forget the capacious trunk and even — gasp! — seatbelts.

“Oh noes, Kim,” I can hear the plaintive cries now, “don’t you know that Studebakers were notoriously unreliable with questionable build quality?”

Yeah… ask me again about my love of Austin Healey, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, MG and Fiat sports cars.  Unreliable?  Don’t make me laugh.

I would rather drive the Golden Hawk in the above picture than any American car, of any vintage or brand.

So if any car is going to be added to the list of things which make me proud to be American, this is the one.

By the way:  here is a lovely, affectionate history of Studebaker and its cars, done quite differently to the typical boring documentary.

Also:  I could be talked into this Golden [sic] Hawk, whose color isn’t quite as shouty as the red one:

…but “not shouty”?  Positively un-American, innit?

Tuckered Out

I see that the Dirty Digger has fired Tucker Carlson because reasons (you pick ’em;  they’re probably all correct).

Best comment so far:

No real reason to watch Fox News anymore, even though I only ever watched Tucker and Gutfeld — and Gutfeld’s not enough to hold me.

At the beginning, Roger Ailes was asked by Murdoch what he was going to bring to Fox News, to which Ailes is reputed to have answered, “Half the market” — and then he did just that.

Now, of course, it’s Fox’s turn to wave good-bye to that half of the market as Fox News turns into CNN Lite.

So long, Murdochspawn.

Right Idea, Wrong Application

From Insty I see this latest bit of nonsense:

Alief, a working-class suburb of Houston that is 71% Hispanic and black, is planting 1,200 new trees, but the objective is not just to beautify the neighborhood. Rather, the idea is that trees will fight crime.

Houston’s KTRK reported Friday that the tree-planting initiative is based on a study “published in the Journal of Public Economics,” which purported to establish that “when temperatures go up, crime does, too.” This is bad for Alief, which “averages 10 degrees hotter in the summer months than well-shaded areas of Houston.” This is because “Alief has only an 11% tree canopy, compared to the Houston average of 33%.” So if Alief cools off, the criminals will cool off. Or at least that’s the idea.

The only way that this makes sense is if over time the trees see the dead bodies of criminals dangling from their branches.  And before people start accusing me of wanting to create a health hazard in places like Alief (corpses wouldn’t take long to start rotting in Houston’s steamy climate), let me stipulate that no body should be left hanging for longer than a day before being replaced with a fresh one.  (As a bonus, that’s even an employment opportunity, both for hangmen and disposal staff.)

No doubt, someone will have a problem with my suggestion;  but as a rationale, it’s backed by more commonsense than the fanciful bullshit that “Ensuring equitable tree cover across every neighborhood can help address social inequities so that all people can thrive.”

It’s not “More trees, less crime” (which is a specious suggestion).  It’s “More trees, fewer criminals” (which is based on the cast-iron tautology of “Fewer criminals, less crime.”

News Roundup

Frankly, I kinda prefer the days when most women were tranq’d up and calmer.  Still:

From the Dept. Of Education:

...keyword:  Wales.  Frankly, I don’t see the fuss — no kids involved, just some chick who likes doing sex things with a chance of being caught in the act.

And speaking of sex things:

...lock up your fathers.

...FFS, Hermione:  get a grip.

From the High Crimes & Misdemeanors Files:

...which it is.  And on the topic of theft:

...if the LA cops aren’t going to charge goblins for theft, then citizens will just mete out their own justice.

...that’s a little ironic, seeing as it’s the Fibbies who are most likely to be doing the hacking.

And in Business News:

...Xerox could not be reached for comment.

...let me see… oh, none anywhere near Plano.  Thanks for nothing, assholes.

In the very bowels of INSIGNIFICA:


...next shocker:  men wank watching PornHub.

Finally, in Fashion News:

...not too surprising;  a lot of men like meat on their bones.  It’s only the homo fashion designers with little-boy fetishes who prefer them skeletal.

And that’s all the news that’s fat to print.

Proud To Be Murkin

So, prompted by this silly survey which asked Brits what made them proud to be British, I ask of my Readers:  what makes you proud to be an American?  (If you need any kind of inspiration, follow the link to see what kinds of things the Brits suggested.)

For once, by the way, I’d urge you all to shed your (well-founded) gloom and pessimism about the current state of affairs under Biden and his bunch of filthy Commies, and think of the good stuff — and there’s lots, let me assure you.

Keep your list to the top 10, unless you can’t.  My own list will appear tomorrow.