|The Greatest Living American|
Fascinating question, Edgar. "Greatest" is a relative term, of course. For boxers, the greatest is Mohammed Ali unless you live in the Philippines. See? Relative. President Obama is the greatest American black president, hands down. That one is absolute, the exception that proves the rule. Hugh Hefner is the greatest womanizer and peddler of women's bodies for profit. "The Donald" is the greatest stuffed shirt. Bill Gates the greatest living philanthropist. So you have certainly mentioned some superb top-notch greats for sure.
As you might guess, JoeAm goes outside of popular names for his top pick. His standards are as follows: intelligent, good character, and extraordinary accomplishment for the betterment of mankind. Entertainers, businessmen and stuffed shirts don't make the cut. The peddler of women's bodies doesn't either. The black president is wallowing in partisan muck, and it will take a few years for the wine of his accomplishment to age properly. Now Bill Gates is for sure in the top five, getting credit for computer operating systems, business achievement, philanthropy, plus bonus points for introducing casual attire into the whole American business scene.
He's the co-inventor of the double helix structure of DNA in 1953, along with Briton's Francis Crick. He received the Nobel Prize in 1962 along with Crick and Maurice Wilkins for their groundbreaking work on human DNA.
Beyond his science genius, Watson has been an ardent activist, a protestor against the Viet Nam War and nuclear arms, and an outspoken advocate for women's choice. He has further argued that "stupidity is a disease" and can be cured. Boy howdy, I wish he'd do more of that work in the American legislature.
The significance of his work is astounding: (1) the framework for crop and livestock genetic enhancements giving us hope that perhaps we can indeed feed our overpopulating planet and have redder tomatoes along the way, (2) the release from jail of those shown to be innocent by DNA proof, and the jailing of thousands of very bad people with unquestionable assurance of guilt, (3) medical breakthroughs that will cure pains, prevent deaths and potentially end stupidity, not to mention rheumatism and gout, and (4) a great leap forward in the discussion of science and faith as the way to intelligent salvation.
Truly, this is a man of great intellect, character and accomplishment for the betterment of mankind. He did nothing less than re-define life.
Dear Joe, "1. Why do Kanos hang a flag on their porch? 1.1 Do ya'all do it on Independence Day only? ?????? " Anonymous
The citizens of warrior nations such as the United States have extraordinary patriotism. They know the sacrifices people make to serve their fellow countrymen. The flag is the symbol of that patriotism, of courage, of giving to the nation absolutely all that can be given. Of cheering in victory, or holding onto unity and determination in defeat. Of knowing that other Americans are there for support, no matter the dangers. Of knowing that the nation stands for the best principles of mankind living as a community.
So people display the flag on the porch, or in the yard, or from the roof, or in the window to say "I'm for America".
And, oddly enough, the flag is a symbol of freedom of speech for Americans who are used to loud and angry taunts. In the hands of the bitter or the jealous or those who don't understand, those who would burn the flag or defile it, it becomes just a piece of cloth, stripped of its real meaning, saying more about the defiler than about America.
The flag is flown on Independence Day, Veterans Day and Memorial Day, and in special circumstances (for example, to celebrate landing on the moon or at half mast upon the death of a president or people who served their nation with distinction, such as astronauts).
My father died when he was 91. He had served in the army in WW II from age 18 to 24. The army held a small ceremony at his funeral to express gratitude on behalf of all Americans for his service, formally presenting me with the flag that draped his coffin. I also have my uncle's flag from that war.
That's why Americans fly the flag.
Dear Honeybunch, What are your goals in blogging? Are you going to write blogs forever?" Your Darling Wife
Well, Sweetie Pie, that is a curious question, as I've been asking myself the same question. For the past year, I've been cranking out articles steadily and learning a lot along the way. I know the blogs have had some influence, which is rewarding. Still, I think the blogging medium in the Philippines is rather scattered and only modestly influential. It is a little bizarre being an American in this conversational scene, and I know that American opinion-mongering arouses the hackles of tried and true homebound Filipino patriots. Overseas Filipinos are not so prickly, as they are also outside looking in. Yet, I look about and I don't see homebound bloggers really calling it straight and striving for new ideas in quite the same constructively provocative way that JoeAm does. Mostly people report on what they see, or pursue their own narrow interests.
The discussions at the popular news sites, Inquirer or Rappler, are discouraging. Much of the comment is posturing and insult rather than crisp, succinct debate on the issues. Everybody is trying to prove they are teachers and winners rather than being open-minded listeners and willing learners. There is little bend in discussions.
And now we see the apparent intrusion of those who are clearly out to damage the Philippines through on-line destruction propaganda. And I think the emotional audience is likely to be susceptible to that. The Philippines has very little patriotic glue because so many people are of the opinion that any way but their way is the wrong way.
So they easily find fault.
It's a rather discouraging scene.
My goals remain the same, to learn and to advocate, to the limited extent possible, for development a modern, productive, upright democratic Philippines. I'll write as long as I can find new ideas or turn a good phrase now and then. There's an ebb and flow to it.
When it ebbs too low, I'll quit.
Good of you to inquire, Renaldo.
"Kumbaya, My Lord, Kumbaya,
Kumbaya, My Lord, Kumbaya . . ."