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.

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.

Don’t Mess With East Texas

While not a Righteous Shooting (an ordinary citizen wasting a goblin), this shooting is certainly righteous.

Executive summary:  Scumbag waves a gun in a woman’s face as she’s sitting in her car.  She calls her husband and the cops.  Cops arrive, find said scumbag who points the gun at them, whereupon they shoot his ass dead, tra-la, tra-la.

I know that part of East Texas quite well.  This is not a population you would want to mess with.  As the goblin discovered.

Quote Of The Day

From Theodore Dalrymple:

“There is often more heroism in a life of quiet decency than in one of flamboyant deeds;  but our minds are like those of bower birds, attracted to the bright, shiny, meretricious, and sensational.”

I wish I could write like that.  The thought isn’t even central to Dalrymple’s essay;  it just sits there, like a beautiful flower at the side of a busy interstate.


Dress Code

One way that British pubs have tried to cut down on hooligan behavior is to ban the kinds of clothing that the typical hell-raiser wears:  hoodies, sweat pants (“track suits”) and so on.

I like this trend.

So you can imagine my response when I read this sad little tale:

Jo, from Paris, was on the hunt to sample some traditional Scottish food and drink with her husband.  They decided to head for the George IV Bar after hearing rave reviews from locals, Edinburgh Live reports. 

Jo said: “My husband and I are from France and for a first night in Edinburgh, we really wanted a nice pub where we could eat food and listen to music at the same time.

“The place was very well noted and the food looked delicious so we tried to get in. My husband was refused entry by the security guard that deemed his pants ‘inappropriate for a restaurant.’

“Very disappointed and I definitely won’t recommend it. We’re currently eating at a pub that doesn’t have live music, too bad for us, but at least we are welcome and we’re eating well.”

The response:

However, the bar’s general manager hit back, writing: “We have a policy of no tracksuits/cottons/jobby catchers in the bar in the evenings.

“Many bars in Edinburgh have the same policy. We work hard to cater for our clientele.”

Once again, my policy of always dressing well when traveling is vindicated.

As it happens, I’ve been to the George IV a couple of times, and it’s a lovely place — not the least because it’s free of trashy yobs and their equally-trashy cock holster girlfriends.  And the food is brilliant.

Add the George IV to your “the next time I’m in Edinburgh” list.  I’ll be going back, for sure.

Silly Question

I absolutely ruled in the late 1970s… the first few years, not so much because I was still figuring out which end was up and what all these things were to be used for.  If you know what I mean.  But by 1975… hubba hubba.

My old VW panel van wasn’t pimped up like the above, but it worked just fine all the same.  (I had a bumper sticker on the back which read “Go ahead and laugh — your daughter may be inside”.)  It looked like this, but was more of a bamboo color:

And then there was the music… even the bad ones are better than the crap we hear today.

I carried a Colt Combat Commander, my .22 pistol was a Beretta Model 75, my .22 rifle was a Winchester 63, and my hunting rifle was the old Israeli Mauser in 7.62mm NATO:


Simpler times, easier life.  I miss the 70s, a lot.