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  • The Annual Sue Moore Auction is now running from 19 - 21 October. Every year proceeds from this auction and all monies raised go directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Please take a look at the items that are available this year, as there is sure to be something of interest to everyone!

Independence Day Contest!

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Just post your ideas about the following: What makes America different?

This can be an opinion of yours. It can be a story you tell us. Maybe it is what someone else told you about our nation.

Three winners will be chosen by random.org. Each receives a $50.00 credit to purchase anything in our store right here.

This is CONUS only please. We will let this run a bit and then have the three winners drawn.

~ The Captain
 
Another nice contest for us all. I will pass on this one only because the Captain has been too generous to me over the years. I will play anyway.

One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for All.

Lately, it seems that some (many) of us forget this, but it is worth remembering for Independence Day.
 
Thanks for the thought provoking question. I will answer from the perspective of 2 international students from China that have lived with us for the last 3 years. I have heard from them numerous times that they are just coming here to go to school then return to China when finished. After several months here “I am staying in America”. They can’t believe the freedoms and opportunities that America offers.
 
I'm in!

What Makes America Different?
There is a ‘school’ of thought which claims America—and therefore, Americans—are exceptional. I find that a hard pill to swallow. That’s not to say Americans aren’t by and large good people, nor that we haven’t made significant contributions to humankind. Most anyone breathing currently is well aware that we have quite some way to go toward the ideal of exceptionalism.

But what makes us stand apart from other nationalities? What makes us uniquely ‘American’?

America is, by its very nature, a melting pot; I am aware some people loathe the term, but I believe it suits us. Neither I nor the rest of my country are as strong individually as we are collectively. To be an American doesn't mean you are only Caucasian, it means we are every race, creed, national origin, and even skin color you can think of. At our core though, all Americans are red, white, and blue. Each of us pursue our own dreams and desires, we live our lives largely on an individual basis, reaching out and embracing family and friends. Ask most of us what we really love and the responses you'll get will run the gamut from materialistic to spiritual. It's not unfair to say that each of us, deep down, reserves a small piece of real estate upon which we quietly nurture our love for our country, an ideal not indigenous to America alone.

Ask me if America (or our government) is perfect? I emphatically respond "No."

Ask me if many things could be better? Naturally, I respond "Yes."

Ask me what I think it means to be American? I say "For me it reduces down to two simple but powerful words: Freedom and Responsibility."

I consider myself most fortunate, even blessed, to be an American. I enjoy, even take for granted, freedoms which people of other nations dream of or only read about in clandestine shadows and forbidden books. We have an immigration problem here because of what America is, not because as Americans we hate outsiders. The mere fact I can write this and speak my mind without fear of reprisal is because of our Constitution. That doesn't mean I can be disrespectful just for the sake of speaking out; with powerful freedoms come equally powerful responsibilities. You can't have one without the other.

Frankly, if you don't like America then I and many of my American brothers and sisters wholeheartedly welcome and encourage you to leave. We don't expect you to love everything about it, good and bad. Most of us don't either. But we also try to work at becoming better people, better citizens...better Americans.

I take Liberty, to have and to hold. I will fade and pass eventually, but within my bloodline run the hopes and dreams of America.

Let Freedom ring.
 
Thanks for the opportunity.

What makes America different is that it is one big Melting Pot of race and ethnicity. And just like a melting pot what makes the dish great is all those different spices coming together to create something special.


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I'm in!

I love this country. I am proud to be an American. I have loved this country ever since I was a boy. My love for this country has evolved and developed over the years, but I love it as much as ever. I've actually given a lot of thought to what makes the USA the USA.

Unlike most other countries, we're not a homogenous nation. We have citizens with ancestors from all over the world. But that doesn't make us much different than our neighbors to the north. We're an educated nation, but not the most educated nation. We have freedom in our nation, but are far from being the most free nation. We're definitely not the oldest nation. So what exactly makes America America? The answer lies in the prompt Scott laid out for us: "What makes America different?"

What makes America different is that we are flawed but we recognize it and aspire to fix our flaws in order to live up to our founding principles of liberty and justice for all. Our history has proven time and again that Americans have been far from perfect when it comes to treating "others" equally. It started before the nation was even born, with the killing of Native Americans and the theft of their lands. It continued with the importation of a people kidnapped from their homes in Africa before being sold as chattel property who were used and abused by their new owners. Then there was the lynching, murdering and exclusion of the Chinese, followed shortly by the rounding up and imprisonment within concentration camps of those of Japanese descent. Only to be followed by the equating of "Muslim" and "Arab" with "terrorism" and "terrorists" leading to countless attacks on not just Muslims and Arabs but also on those who were mistaken for such.


This same imbalance is also found in our most fundamental democratic system: voting. Ever since Buckley v. Valeo, the wealthy have had an outsized role in elections. The situation worsened in the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan's FCC eliminated the Fairness Doctrine, meaning those with money could buy broadcast media to air their political opinions without presenting a fair and equitable countervailing opinion. Then just a little over a decade ago, the Courts handed even more power to the wealthy in Citizens United vs. FEC, which essentially made it possible for wealthy corporations to spend endless amount of money on political campaigns, which all but ensured that the voices of the poor would never be heard by the people who were supposed to represent them, thereby allowing the rich and powerful to increase their wealth and power by buying legislators legally. Of course, there was the latest insurrection at the Capitol building on January 6, where an armed and violent mob descended upon those defending the halls of Congress at the behest of the losing candidate in order to prevent the official vote from being counted, not to mention the repeated false claims of election fraud by that loser candidate, which have since been echoed by those in his political party as cover to deny Americans in the states they control from ever being able to vote them (or others in their party) out of office, effectively enshrining one-party rule with a party controlled by the minority--in defiance of American democratic tradition, norms, and values.

Yet, for all its faults and imperfections, America aspires to be the land of the free, to provide liberty and justice for all, and to be a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people. It may take time, but we eventually recognize the error of our ways and reform. We may never reach perfection, but we strive for it. Sure, there are bumps along the road. Yes, we often lapse into undemocratic practices and behaviors. But so long as American democracy is still the norm, so long as we still aspire to fulfill the words of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, so long as we treat the guiding principles Thomas Jefferson set forth in the Declaration of Independence as our lodestar, America will correct itself. It's these founding principles written down by great men before us that make America unique. Once these principles are forgotten, America will become just another country run by so many tinpot dictators. May God forbid that day ever arrive.
 
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What makes the U.S. different for me is the opportunity to achieve success. My father, his brother, and other relatives immigrated to the U.S. for the opportunities that it offers. I have friends and associates who did the same thing. They left countries where opportunities were severely limited and became successful here.

Plus, as others have said, the U.S. is a melting pot. I attend a Saturday Men's Bible Study, for example, that has men with Italian, Mexican, German, French, Scottish, British, Dominican, Philippine, and African backgrounds and from every possible race. In our church, it is similar to a League of Nations. There are not many countries that have such diversity.
 
I'm in. As a Canadian living state-side for the past several years, I may have a slightly different perspective to share. The United States is a land of incredible diversity, enviable creativity, and deep contradictions (some of them wonderful, and others quite troubling). There are strains of rugged individualism and innate confidence affixed to the American psyche that strike me as somewhat unique to this country and its people. To non-Americans, it is a feature that has the power to both inspire and perplex, these days in almost equal measure. But for the 4th of July, it's worth focusing on some of those things that make America a special place. There is probably no other place on earth that could have conceivably given birth to jazz, blues, R&B, hip hop, country and bluegrass music, which form the basis of most of the modern music we enjoy. We can celebrate the ballpark hotdog (childhood nostalgia and sinful pleasure all in one bite), proper BBQ, and California cuisine. Hollywood and the Grand Ole Opry. The space program and much of modern medicine. These are all products of the great American experiment, and I'm happy to be living here this year experiencing them with you.
 
It is easy for me to get stuck on the negative. I like this thread and the chance to take Paul's advice to the Phillipians : "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. "

As others have mentioned, the great diversity of the American people. The hope and optimism generated by a place where voices are heard and dreams can come true. The effort put forth to right wrongs and make the world better not only for themselves but their fellow man.

As much as is wrong today, there is much love expressed and good done as well if we choose to notice and speak of it.

Thank you, Captain, for another generous contest. For being one of those who chooses to spread good deeds and love.

Thank you to all who have taken the time to search out and share some of the things that are right in America.
 
"Liberty" is the first thing that came to mind when I thought about this.

So many great responses here.

Thanks for the generous contest, Captain!
 

KeenDogg

Slays On Fleek - For Rizz
Not in. I think about the many blessings I have. I have health, friendship, love, children, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my belly. Happy Independence Day to you all.
 
In my younger days I crossed oceans at the behest of Uncle Sam. As part of a special humanitarian assignment, I was part of a contingent that visited countries whose common people could not imagine, much less did they enjoy, the merest fraction of what we have in the United States. I worked with them, side-by-side; digging wells, swinging a hammer, painting the walls of the concrete box they called home. If we got a chance before leaving the base, sometimes a few of us would stuff our pockets with hard candy for the kids we knew we'd see. I was welcomed into their homes, I was invited to eat at their table, assuming they had one. Often I ate sitting on a dirt floor. It was an privilege and an honor, I was often told, to have an American in their home. I never knew how to reply to that.

I didn't speak their language, they often didn't speak mine and typically the one bi-lingual/translator we had in our group was off somewhere else, smoking, chatting, drinking warm beer. Everyone worked. Well, everyone but our rather heavily-armed escort, because you know... Guerillas. As I remember it everyone got along despite the language barrier and I like to think some sliver of good was accomplished. I remember vividly one woman in particular who spoke decent English. She seemed to like me would occasionally chuckle to herself at how wide-eyed I was, taking in my surroundings as we walked in the mud toward her province. I did my best to explain. "Ah... Ignorant American." she replied, laughing. She was right. I was humbled then and I'm humbled now, just thinking about those days. How we're ALL just... People. So very different, yet so very much the same. Just people. Wanting to make a life, maybe a life that's just a little bit better for their kids...

Respectfully not in and apologies for the rambling nature of this post. The OP just kinda got me to thinking is all.
 
You have been so generous to me, so not in. What makes America great is our steadfast insistence on individual liberty and equality. Sadly, we seem to be losing that, but I continue to have faith in this amazing country.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
I'm in!

What Makes America Different?
There is a ‘school’ of thought which claims America—and therefore, Americans—are exceptional. I find that a hard pill to swallow. That’s not to say Americans aren’t by and large good people, nor that we haven’t made significant contributions to humankind. Most anyone breathing currently is well aware that we have quite some way to go toward the ideal of exceptionalism.

But what makes us stand apart from other nationalities? What makes us uniquely ‘American’?

America is, by its very nature, a melting pot; I am aware some people loathe the term, but I believe it suits us. Neither I nor the rest of my country are as strong individually as we are collectively. To be an American doesn't mean you are only Caucasian, it means we are every race, creed, national origin, and even skin color you can think of. At our core though, all Americans are red, white, and blue. Each of us pursue our own dreams and desires, we live our lives largely on an individual basis, reaching out and embracing family and friends. Ask most of us what we really love and the responses you'll get will run the gamut from materialistic to spiritual. It's not unfair to say that each of us, deep down, reserves a small piece of real estate upon which we quietly nurture our love for our country, an ideal not indigenous to America alone.

Ask me if America (or our government) is perfect? I emphatically respond "No."

Ask me if many things could be better? Naturally, I respond "Yes."

Ask me what I think it means to be American? I say "For me it reduces down to two simple but powerful words: Freedom and Responsibility."

I consider myself most fortunate, even blessed, to be an American. I enjoy, even take for granted, freedoms which people of other nations dream of or only read about in clandestine shadows and forbidden books. We have an immigration problem here because of what America is, not because as Americans we hate outsiders. The mere fact I can write this and speak my mind without fear of reprisal is because of our Constitution. That doesn't mean I can be disrespectful just for the sake of speaking out; with powerful freedoms come equally powerful responsibilities. You can't have one without the other.

Frankly, if you don't like America then I and many of my American brothers and sisters wholeheartedly welcome and encourage you to leave. We don't expect you to love everything about it, good and bad. Most of us don't either. But we also try to work at becoming better people, better citizens...better Americans.

I take Liberty, to have and to hold. I will fade and pass eventually, but within my bloodline run the hopes and dreams of America.

Let Freedom ring.
Well said.

On Independence Day, I remind myself that a group of men who signed their names to a document called The Declaration of Independence, did so knowing full well that they would become marked men. But they did so anyway because their spirit represented the spirit of this country.

Are we perfect, an easy no.

Do we have the best thing going on this planet? A just as easy yes.

not in.
 
It seems to me what makes America so different is the staunch idea of individual freedom and the past necessity of self reliance that heavily affected the greater population. This combined with the varied make up of the population meant that many ideas could be put forth and cultivated with the more suitable gaining traction.

Sadly these liberties are cherished by few and are being eroded and polluted. You only know what you had when it's gone...
 
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