Post 1786: an American holiday…

120116 andy (left) and dougy

Andy and Dougy are taking a day off today, July 4th, 2018, Independence Day. They wondered how much tuna people buy for the holiday (probably not much!) and why people celebrate an American holiday with Chinese fireworks and Chinese-made American flags. Darned if I know.

According to CNBC, citing information from Wallet Hub, a financial website, Americans spend a lot on this holiday, the big one of the summer, with $7,000,000,000  predicted for this year compared with $6,800,000,000 last year:

US flags, many of which are made in China: $5,000,000.

Chicken and hamburgers: over $760,000,000, with an additional $37,000,000 on ketchup alone!

Beer? Especially in this hot summer: over $1,000,000,000!

Fireworks, mostly Chinese-made: $800,000,000+.

Travel costs are difficult to estimate because of the variability of prices, region to region, but, according to AAA: “An estimated 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles [80.5 kilometers] or more from home between Friday and Tuesday,”


The kitty boys and I will endure the fireworks, not drink beer, or eat barbecue. The best part, though, our American flag was made in the United States of America, appropriately enough.

Speaking of the US Flag, here are the complete lyrics to the US National Anthem, typically with only the first verse sung, ending on an existential question we might ask ourselves today: 


Complete version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” showing spelling and punctuation
from Francis Scott Key’s manuscript in the Maryland Historical Society collection.

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bomb bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
‘Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.


I confess I get goose-bumpy and teary when I hear it, though, I think the whole idea and application of what America stands for is under fire every day. A continental railroad wouldn’t be conceived of let alone built now, nor would we put men on the moon. We are too busy being one party or the other, forgetting that “we the people” is a recipe for success, not our current divided state.

It is a time of self-interest sucking the coffers dry at the expense of those heroes who fight and die to preserve the experiment and poor brown people trying to come to America for safety and the benefit of freedom to live the American dream. John Q. Public has to work several jobs to have a level of living less than what his post WWII parents enjoyed with just Dad bringing home the bacon.

So, wave your Chinese-made flags, fire off your Chinese-made fireworks, set aside any thoughts about what America is and can be when we open our doors to others, pass the beer, forget about the meaning of the American Revolution, the Civil War that is still being waged in parts of the country (if not with 2nd Amendment-approved weaponry), the good and bad wars fought since and still, and how it brought use to this point in history.

I’m reading a book on Andrew Jackson for the holiday. I just finished one on Thomas Jefferson. I hope the president has read the Jackson biography, if not any other books in his life. It helps one understand just what we are about, perhaps enlightens us to what inspires the people, and what destroys the country and its historic values.