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I am re-posting some of my early Blog posts as "Diaries" in the Group "Nitfig".

The purpose of this Group is to become a Family Blog, one which we are happy to share.

If you like these Diaries, just Follow the Group .... Steve

This was originally written in 2005. It has never been posted here before, it is part of my life outwith these pages.

On the other hand, the sentiment I express in the Diary could very easily have resulted from the occasional comment I have seen here too.


In the last short while, it has been brought to my attention that I have criticised the United States of America, her people and procedures, and all she represents, a tad more than strictly necessary. Necessary hasn't been defined, but I feel confident the good souls who take issue with me are decent, righteous, God-fearing types, whose wise counsel I would do well to heed.

Indeed, it could be argued that ANY criticism of the USA is too much. Most especially if such verbal diarrhea comes spewing unchecked from an alien, a foreigner .... a sour-graped Limey. It could be, and it often is. Why, even your truly great and beyond criticism President reminded all other countries that if you weren't with the US, you were with the terrorists. We all stood corrected ... esp. the French.

So, I take this opportunity, even at this late stage, to offer up, for public dissemination and scrutiny, an unreserved apology to the entire Nation. I am convinced my detractors are a fair and reasonable cross-section of American society, thought and opinion, therefore I do indeed, stand corrected.

But before I finish ...... let's examine what I am apologising for ....

I apologise for spelling the word apologise without the required z.

I apologise for admiring the selflessness of the kind folk I met in South Carolina.

I apologise for inflicting myself upon Mrs Twigg, for the rest of my life .... and I apologise to all the hearts that sank when the news broke (that last one might be a little tongue-in-cheek).

I apologise for praising publicly the Maryland doctor who treated me for almost no money in November, and I apologise to the Oklahoma doctor who promised to do the same if I needed it.

I am deeply ashamed for writing about Thanksgiving, a message in which I applauded the sentiment, and thanked the wonderful people who shared their homes with me.

I apologise that my birthday is July 4th.

I apologise for standing and looking in awe at the original Star Spangled Banner, with a tear in my eye when I felt the enormity of the symbol laid out on a table in front of me. This simple piece of cloth representing the hopes dreams and ambitions of the last, and greatest superpower, and her people.

I am deeply ashamed that, in that moment, I felt moved, and I felt at home.

I am aghast that Tulsan's have had to endure my Karaoke singing, and even more saddened by the friends I have made here.

It was outrageous of me to spend the last three years helping where I could to support American, and other, smokers to quit.

This is probably not the best time to mention that I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life exploring, contributing to, and and offering the little I have, to make this great country a little greater; but also a little fairer and more just, so I apologise in advance.

I have committed my future and my life to the United States. Not the country, per se, but the people, and more especially, one person who can't leave, nor would I ask her to.

Because of my commitment, the future of this nation is important to me, so I also apologise for saying now that you ain't seen nuttin' yet. If I am paying the piper, I'm damned well gonna call the tune .... and my tax dollars are as valuable as anyone else's, even though they buy me far fewer rights than most of you ....

... and I apologise for pointing that out. To show I don't mind, it's my intention to ensure I pay a large amount of tax, knowing as I do that both State and Federal Governments will spend it wisely.

I apologise for smiling at the lyrics of Tom Paxton .... had he been an alien, no doubt the moral, the self-righteous, and the pontificators would have come down hard on him. I especially feel the lyric "Our leaders are the finest men, and we elect 'em again and again" was ill-advised (full lyric available on request – I promise not to sing it, but apologise should I forget).

This journey has, thus far, been a wonderful one. The people I have met, even the ones I only nearly met. The sights I've seen and the places I've visited. I'll give you just one example of the inequalities I've personally witnessed, and I make NO apology for doing so.

I have been to Washington DC. I have seen wealth and privilege, seats of power and all the trappings such a place considers the norm. But there is another United States. In Tulsa, on a street called Admiral Place is a large permanent Flea-market. Basically it's about 40 000 square feet of crap. However, it's harmless crap, and that's not the point. On the other side of the street is what can only be described as a ghetto. That, by the way, is a generous description.

People are living, in the US in the year of our Lord 2005, in squalor and in abject poverty. Put simply, the place is awful, and this country should be (and many of it's people are) ashamed it exists. This wouldn't be so bad were it a one-off, but it isn't. In towns and cities from Seattle to Miami, San Diego to somewhere in the far north east, Admiral Places exist. So sure I'll criticise ..... I'll shout and I'll post and I'll damned well join the campaign to rid our society of such squalor, and I'll apologise to no man for so doing.

America is great, but it's also a work in progress. As an outsider, and alien, a Limey, a concerned human ..... whatever .... I'll do what I can to leave the place just a little better than I found it. If we all do the same, maybe progress can be made.

The United States of America was made what it is today by immigrants. Why do people so object to this proud tradition being honoured. Or maybe they are just dinosaurs.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Tue Mar 01, 2011 at 08:36:10 PM PST

  •  I would guess that the objection is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000, twigg

    raised to those immigrants who don't become Americans, but retain citizenship and their national identity from before.

    Again, just a guess.

    (RKBA) Right to Keep and Bear Arms: interested in a DKos RKBA group? Email in profile. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Tue Mar 01, 2011 at 10:43:10 PM PST

    •  I wish that were true (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I love OCD, KVoimakas, CherryTheTart

      That would be bad enough but no .... Many Americans are very insular. There is a great deal of xenophobia out there.

      Less so here, by a long way, but step out of the Liberal community, and it's often very obvious.

      Freedom Fries anyone?

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 04:51:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I live outside the liberal community. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I get what you're saying, but a LOT of the complaints I hear from the cons around here about immigrants is that they aren't assimilating when they get here. One of them (a fellow firearm instructor) married into an immigrant family. His wife just recently (within the last year) became a citizen. He has no problems with her because, while she retains some of the Lao customs, she is becoming an American at the same time.  

        This is just what I see. I have also seen people react to immigrants the way you describe, but in this blood red area, it's not as prevalent for some reason.

        (RKBA) Right to Keep and Bear Arms: interested in a DKos RKBA group? Email in profile. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 05:32:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  With immigrants generally (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The Right tends to use them as a scapegoat for all the ills. That's nothing new.

          The points in my Diary were actually about a different issue. I was really writing about the xenophobia that I see ..... Remember that I wrote that five years ago.

          It's not just conservatives who get all Stars and Stripey when they feel their exceptionalism is challenged :)

          It's natural, to an extent, but more prevalent here than it is in countries that have more contact with others.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 05:39:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  My husband has three citizenships (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          twigg, KVoimakas

          UK, NZ and Australian.  I have never heard anyone complain about him not being 'assimilated'.  In this blood red area.

          Instead, on hearing his accent, 9 out of 10 people say "Oh, you're from Australia?  I've always wanted to go there'.  They're almost disappointed that he doesn't go around with corks strung from his hat and a kangaroo in tow.

          Some cultures are more accepted than others, I guess.

          And I oppose him getting US citizenship.  The only benefit to  getting one is the ability to vote.  And in the meantime, the benefit to being able to move to one of his countries in the future is huge.

          Although an American myself, I was raised in the UK, so I see this country, and other countries, in a slightly different light than most I guess.

  •  You're such a gifted writer, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, CherryTheTart

    it's a pleasure to read and recommend your essays.  

    You're more sanguine about the xenophobia than I am - I think it's our least endearing and most endangering trait.

    About the spelling - I was born in the USA but go on Anglophile reading binges and end up with things like honour and apologise.  Some words I'm permanently confused about.  ;-)

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 05:47:49 AM PST

    •  I find myself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I love OCD

      mixing spellings, and just getting some wrong :)

      I am to be heard yelling at my American English spellchecker, and my British English one, in equal measure.

      I have another Diary that I plan to re-publish about the apparent ostracizing of the letter "u", in American English.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 07:33:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Absolutely Brilliant! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, LynneK

    I've read some of your stuff here and loved it!

    Now you tell me you've been holding out on us?

    PLEASE don't out yourself as a Birther today, you'll ruin my entire week!

    Never confuse kindness and patience with stupidity and weakness!!

    by Joes Steven on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 06:50:08 AM PST

  •  Don't apologize (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am an American who was raised in London, leaving in my early 20's, and my husband's last home was Australia.  We live in the States now.

    The experience of having been in different countries gives a person a fresh perspective, and they bring new ideas.  And you probably (and definitely my husband)  know more about American politics and history than 90% of the US population.

    That, plus the knowledge that what happens in the US affects the world in a big way makes you, IMHO, a welcome voice here.

    If people choose to wall themselves off, there' not much you can do about that.  It's their loss.

    •  I understand that most Americans (0+ / 0-)

      never travel abroad. It's long-haul to get anywhere, and expensive.

      What I don't understand is that we elect leaders, Reps and Senators, who have never been further than Long Island.

      Yeah, I know it's an island, but it's not "abroad"!

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 07:37:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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