REFLECTIONS ON WHAT AMERICA IS
by Mark Sscheinbaum
American Reporter Correspondent
Lake Worth, Fla.
LAKE WORTH, Fla., May 5, 2003 -- Much of the world is still debating the rationale and results of the U.S. battlefield victory in Iraq, so maybe it's time for this non-politician to reflect on the true greatness of our land.
Honestly now folks, in today's mixed up world, what is America? American is the land where an individualistic canyon crawler can save his own life. He was emotionally armed with the Judeo-Christian, and alas even the Islamic ethic, that a good life lived will allow is body to drift into eternal peace. He was also armed with a pocket knife, and decided to carve off his own arm from under a boulder, and escape bloody, but alive. American is the land where women comprised 10 percent of the 5,000 member crew of the Carrier Abraham Lincoln, and were at sea for ten (count 'em) months. At least 20 returned home pregnant, and few eyebrows were even raised. American is the land where a Texarkana businessman, in jeans, and a pickup truck can grow up in a land where Sears & Roebuck dominated the retail world. He can infuse his savvy and values into an organization which a few years after his death, evolved into a Wal-Mart which is the world's most successful retailer. America is also the place where a milkshake machine salesman could convert a burger stand into the global restaurant king. His legacy, called MacDonald's starts to lose money for the first time in 41 years and with true American alacrity, in 9 months closes stores in countries which want to bomb and kill many things American. For good measure they also closed underperforming stores and revamped their decor and menu, turning things around efficiently and rapidly. America allows a chubby singing chick, and two instrumental gals, to gain some success as an opening act at county fairs. When a few songs start to get air play, they welch on a low budget fair in Florida, disappointing their fans. Weeks later they claimed one of the chicks had a sore throat, but that didn't keep them from booking another gig at hundreds of thousands of bucks. Then these chicks rally American pride, tears well up, and flags wave, as they hit the charts big time about an "American soldier" who dies in Vietnam. America allows them to go the Europe, launch an ad hominem attach not on U.S. policies, but on the heritage of the President of the United States, and scream: "First Amendment Violation!!" when some former fans boycott them. Of course America is also the land where in the Bible Belt of conservative Greenville, SC these chicks from Dixie can then play to a sell-out crowd. America is the nation where kids from Panama, Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, El Salvador, The Phillipines, and a dozen other countries are hauled in to fill the recruitment quotas of the "all volunteer armed forces." Those who survive combat are rewarded with U.S. citizenship - not for joining to defend America in the first place, but for being part of the public relations campaign to make the campaign feel warm and fuzzy. America is the nation where a Jewish trainer from Brooklyn, enters a horse owned by a Saudi prince in the Kentucky Derby, where active duty U.S. military men and women are charged the full price of $40 to fry on the infield turf to bet and watch. America is the nation where a Wall Street CEO, whose industry just coughed up $2 billion in fines for basically feeding the public phony and doctored research reports, can brag to press and colleagues that such sanctions have no serious impact on his company or industry. America is the land where a Jewish Nazi Holocaust survivor can goad a Christian American President, into sending U.S. troops into Europe's backyard to save thousand of Moslem lives in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those troops from the Land of America performed nearly flawlessly, foregoing so much as a cold beer or a mixed drink out of respect for observant Muslims, while their comrades from France and Sweden threw wine and beer parties. But mostly, America is the kind of place where you can keep your nose clean, hug your family, go to the mall, have a couple of burgers and beers, and go home to watch the ball game on tv and fart on the couch. Mark Scheinbaum is chief investment strategist for Kaplan & Company Securities, BSE, NASD, SIPC, in Boca Raton.