[Big Mike note: I was supposed to publish this yesterday. I didn’t.]
Happy Pollyanna Day!
And — you know what? — I’m going to get into the swing of things myself. Most of the time I moan and crab about this holy land and the +310 million goofballs who comprise our populace. So, for a refreshing change, I’m not going to carp on the fact that in my lifetime, we’ve elected as president the likes of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush. (Pardon me while I shudder.) Nor will I linger on the disturbing fact that significant numbers of us believe in ghosts, a Big Daddy-o in the Sky, alien visitations, George Bush’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks, Barack Obama’s birth in Kenya, a benign invisible hand in economics, and anything uttered by Fox News commentators.
“Close Encounters…” Was Not A Documentary
No, I’m going full-tilt positive on Murrica today. You’d better enjoy it because it’s a one-day deal, dig?
⦿ Has any country ever been able to claim a guy as cool as Benjamin Franklin?
⦿ The United States in 2013 ranked 124th out of 233 nations in birth rate with a 0.9 percent rise. So that means we’re not as repro-mad as the Libyans (No. 1 at 4.85 percent) nor as sluggardly as the Russians (No. 199 at -0.02 percent). The Holy See, BTW, comes in at No. 194 with a 0.00 percent birth rate, natch.
⦿ Here are a select few devices, gizmos, products, and systems invented by Americans:
- Electric mixer
- Polio vaccine
- Skee ball
- The Internet
- Vacuum cleaner
- Electric guitar
- Manned lunar lander
- Ice cream soda
- Ferris wheel
- Radio telescope
- Preparation H
- Communications satellite
- Fire sprinkler
- Bifocals (by Franklin, of course)
Big Mike & Bifocals
- K-Y Jelly
- Black light
⦿ The Grand Canyon, Arches, Zion, Yellowstone, and Denali national parks
⦿ The Pacific Coast Highway
⦿ Wrigley Field
⦿ Cream puffs at the Wisconsin state fair
⦿ Neko Case
⦿ Jazz and the blues
⦿ Women have fought the good fight for equality, respect, and dignity — and, by and large, they’ve achieved those things to a greater degree here than in most nations on Earth
⦿ “It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.” — Molly Ivins
⦿ Bill Bryson
⦿ Richard Feynman
⦿ Elizabeth Warren
⦿ The Kennedy Space Center
⦿ The Yerkes Observatory
⦿ The National Science Foundation
⦿ The entrepreneurial spirit
⦿ A black in the White House, a Jew on the fifth floor of Chicago’s City Hall, a woman as the Democrats’ front-runner for 2016, a Latina on the US Supreme Court, and a lesbian as one of the most influential political commentators
Oh, there’s more. Much more. But that’s enough for me today.