Not to worry. I am not going to wax poetic or puff pompous, pretentious prose on how awesome we are as a nation.
Nope - just going to throw out some interesting facts, questions and ponderings, a few things to mull over with a side of beer and BBQ, something to think about and discuss as we head into our 236th year.
• If our national security budget were its own economy, it would be the 19th largest in the world at $931 billion.
• $64 billion is slated for education.
• 1 in 5 children live below the poverty line
• The average US household carries $75,000 in debt and takes in an average of $26,000 a year.
• $25,000 of that debt is tied to student loans.
• One-third of all college graduates end up taking jobs that don't require a college degree:
• Only 55.3% of Americans 18-30 were employed last year. That's the lowest since WW2.
• More people voted for American Idol than for president in 2004.
• Only 56% of Americans are covered under employer-provided health care. 44 million Americans are uninsured all together.
• You know someone who is unemployed. You know someone who has served in the military. You know someone who can't pay for health care, housing, food and a proper education.
I hate to be the buzz kill of the party but lady liberty ain't doin so good in her teen age (relative to other countries)
Of course there are more facts than ones I chose to include here. Yes, there are good things as well. I am and always have been proud to be American.
But pride does not equal contentment.
I am not content.
And you shouldn't be either.
Whatever ideologies you call your own, this country is fucked up.
And that's not something we can continuously project as "their" fault - our country is not separate from us - we ironically treat it like some foreign object we can complain about, take pride in but never actually invest real time in - like a dead beat dad.
If our country is fucked up, we're fucked up. If it fails, we've failed.
It's that simple.
So, this 4th of July - wave the flag, have a few drinks, enjoy yourself. Hell, you probably got the day off so take advantage of that.
But let's not forget to take advantage of what it means to have this day, to be a US citizen, to actually live here and be a part of this.
The unruly teenager needs to be reigned in - that begins with knowledge, understanding and giving a shit.
Let's toss the apathy out with the moldy hot dog buns and have some truth and action with your potato salad.
Happy Birthday - here's to living up to our ideals.