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A few subtle ways to become a good American (and a good human being)

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Being a good American and a good human being isn't about waving a flag, hating Democrats or republicans, Muslims, or people who say ugly words about political leaders.  It ain't about fear, hysterical dialect, consumerism and waste.

Being a good American and a good human being is about personal responsibility.  About having enough confidence and courage not to feel threatened by every little thing.  About assuming the responsibility of not being part of the problem any more than is absolutely necessary.  About self-reliance.

Sometimes it's not obvious how a person might accomplish those things.

  • On a personal level your life will find itself a lot better place if you can recognize the fact you are going to die as a means of exiting it.  Maybe disease, a car wreck, any of a thousand common ways that don't have a damned thing to do with any foreign country, foreign leader, foreign war.  You are going to die.  No point in going into frenzies of terror and hate because the death you get stands a billion-to-one shot at being the act of a terrorist.  Trust me on that.  You are going to die, and I'll only be the tiniest, most microscopic bit of a liar when I tell you it won't be from anything any foreigner does  to cause it.
  • On a personal level you'll find it's a hell of a lot better place if you can learn what is your own business, and what isn't.  If you can change it, it's your business.  If you can't, it ain't worth concerning yourself with, getting all worked up about.
  • On a personal level you'll find your life's a lot better place if you spend considerable energies looking at it, instead of other places, looking at what you like about it, and what you don't like about it, and changing what you can.  Looking in a metaphorical mirror at the sort of person you are and asking yourself if that is the sort of person you want to be.  You can't change the kind of person the prez of bongobongoland is, but you can change the kind of person you are into someone you have more respect for.  No one respects a dishonest, hysterical coward, including you when you see it in others.

If all of us could pull that off our own lives would be a lot better, and America would be a better place for it.  But insofar as personal responsibility and being a good American, we can expand on that a bit.  Here are a few things a good American might do without having to shout from the rooftops about what an admirable person he/she is:

Dependence on hydrocarbons is the ultimate problem of this nation you say you love. 

  • Be conscious of your own energy use.
  • Every plastic grocery or garbage bag, every foam-plastic hamburger box, no matter where it was produced, drives up the price of oil.
  • Every time you fire up that hair-dryer you drive up the world-wide price of hydrocarbons.
  • Every made-in-China yellow ribbon you buy to stick on your car drives up the price of hydrocarbons world-wide, increases the demand.
  • Every made-in-China flag made of nylon you wave drives up the price of oil and increases worldwide demand.
  • Every new plastic radio, CD player, computer monitor.  Every plastic wrapper from that frozen pizza pie.  Every celophane cover and foam plastic bottom covering the piece of animal you're having for supper and sending to the landfill afterward is driving up the world-wide competition for oil.
  • Sure, there's the other obvious things.  The things Jimmy Carter used to beg you to do when he was prez, to help you quit relying on foreign petroleum products.  Turn down the heater.  Turn up the thermostat on the AC.  Don't drive anymore than you have to.  Which, of course, you didn't care for then and immediately forgot when he left office (which is part of the reason you're in the fix you are in now.)

But there's a lot more to being a good American, as opposed to a good human being.  Here are a few more ways you could try to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem:

Quit buying ANY foreign product if you can avoid it.  Even if it saves you a few cents.  Just say no.  Refuse and make it clear why you're refusing.

If this country is going to survive another century the population is going to have to begin manufacturing what it consumes, energy-wise and every other wise.  Building hamburgers to sell back and forth to one another isn't enough to keep a country sound. 

Americans are going to have to produce products, and the other Americans are going to have to buy them.  We can't continue indefinitely sending our chunks of our trade deficit off to bongo-bongoland for petroleum, to China for plastic bags, television sets, seat covers and rubber monster toys.  We can't starve out our farmers by buying agricultural products from Mexico and Argentina.

Being a good American involves a hell of a lot more than getting angry when some foreigner says something ugly about it.  Loyalty to America and Americans is about keeping America alive, productive, self-reliant, healthy economically.

If we can do those things we'll find we're spending a lot less time hurling empty rhetoric back and forth, hating the owners of bongo-bongoland oil, a lot less time bombing the hell out of foreign lands, a lot less angry and full of fear and hatred.

And we wouldn't need to wave flags to prove we were good Americans.

 

 

Entry #591

Comments

1.
LottoVantageComment by LottoVantage - September 23, 2006, 10:58 am
Couldn't have said it better myself!
2.
Comment by luckierlady - September 23, 2006, 11:07 am
One of the things I've most appreciated about being a friend of yours is that you have taught me so much, and some of it I've even been able to take and use for myself.
I'd have to say that minding your own business has been one of the hurdles that, even though I don't always manage, has become much more prominent in my thinking, and has made a tremendous positive difference in my life when I do manage to accomplish it.
As for the rest, I don't blow-dry my hair, I quit shopping at walmart, and I don't watch TV, especially if it's made in China.
But there is always room for improvement.
3.
Comment by fxsterling - September 23, 2006, 12:16 pm
Yes Yes Yes and don't support illegals   spend a few bucks today it will be worth it down the road
4.
Rick GComment by Rick G - September 23, 2006, 12:18 pm
Good blog, Jack. You made a good point about manufacturing products in America and having Americans buy those products. Unfortunately that is becoming impossible. There is not a single American-owned company in this country that makes TV's any longer. We have gone from the manufacturing capital of the world to the leaders in "information technology". This doesn't help the goal of self-reliance at all and does nothing to satisfy the needs of basic survival for America as a country. When the fecal matter hits the fan, what is information technology going to do for us?

The only good thing we have going for us is our agriculture. If we put up a fence around the whole country we might be sitting naked around campfires, but at least we'll have something to eat even if it is just tainted spinach. At least the men won't all be bearded and most women will have smooth legs...we still make the best razor blades in the world.
5.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 23, 2006, 12:50 pm
RickG: Yup. It's nigh-on impossible. But the only way to try to bring it back is to start somewhere, each individual. At the grocery stores, whereever there's an alternative to buying foreign products.

A lot can come back if we buy our own products. Cottage industries can handle an enormous amount of what's now produced in China. But it also requires a willingness to simply not buy if it's not essential, and not manufactured in the US.

Thanks for the comment.
Jack

fxsterling:

Illegal aliens have as much to do with the problem as space aliens. Buying the diversionary hum-job of the establishment to get your eye off the ball doesn't get your eye on the ball.

Jack

Luckierlady: Thanks for the observation, the read, and the comment. I appreciate being your friend, as well.

Jack


LottoVantage:

You might have said it better. Try sometime. It can't be said too often.

Thanks for the read and the comment.

Jack
6.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 23, 2006, 1:18 pm
fxsterling:

Suppose all the illegal aliens went home today, and no more came.

Which problem the US has would be solved?

Less welfare and health care? Maybe. But in the overall scheme of things just how significant is that?

More outdoor heavy lifting, dirty hands jobs for Americans who don't want them? The people who want those jobs already have them. If others want them they can get them, despite illegals.

So, what precise major problem would be solved if the illegal alien 'problem' were solved this moment?

I'd appreciate hearing your answer.

Jack



7.
JAP69Comment by JAP69 - September 23, 2006, 2:57 pm
Rip,
I thought I had read I think yesterday on the msn homepage where the fruit is rotting in the fields.
Apparently not enough workers to pick the fruit.
Easy to figure out. I would think.
Back in the 50 when I was young I worked at an apple orchard picking apples. Got $.50 a bushel back then. Had good pickin you made nice money.
8.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 23, 2006, 7:01 pm
JAP69:
Yup. I used to do it by the bushel, by the row for row crops, or by the hour. Never thought much about whether it was good money. All money was good.
Gracias,
Jack

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