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Subject: A commentary about the U.S. by Jay Leno

posted 6/15/2007 8:08:20 PM |
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A commentary about the U.S. by Jay Leno

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just aren't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ''What are we so unhappy about?''

Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year? Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough.

Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.

This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me? Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad?

Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the "Media" told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day? Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom.There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go.They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig. So why then, the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news.Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by "justifying" them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way.........Insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stop buying the negativism you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your birdcage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative. "With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, "Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

Jay Leno

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Jun 15 @ 8:17PM  
This is also the same America, where 17 % think that President Bush ordered the blowing up of the Wotld Trade Center and blamed it on the Islamic people so he and the Vice President and BIG OIL could get the oil in the Middle East.

This is the America, where 6 % think that the 1969 moon landing really told place in a movie studio.

And this is the same America that is counting the days that Paris Hilton gets out of jail.

Jun 15 @ 8:47PM  
Well, you raise some good points here, Goast, so let me see what I can do.

The approval rating is meant as a polled indicator for political purposes. The telling factor isn't so much as the current rating as in the change in the rating over time. In 2005, the president's approval ratings were as high as 45% in some polls. Now, in some polls they are as low as 28%. I'm sure one could argue averages and standard deviations, but one thing is for certain: It is at least a perception of the people that things the president has control over are getting worse.

The comment about “electricity and water” is only partially true. Indeed, for the majority of the public it is a given that when you turn on a faucet something will happen, but there are others who have complaints that the government subsidizes operations that ruin the environment local to their homes. National Geographic, a magazine hardly known for being alarmist, has reported incidents like this with increasing frequency.

And I know this to be a fairly recent report as Leno's figures for unemployment (4.6%) match a recent CNN report, but he also fails to note the object behind the CNN report was that the unemployment rates have been steadily rising. What it also fails to take into consideration is that that 4.6% seems like a small number but constitutes over seven million people. Or that the primary reason the rate is not through the roof is because of the previous administration (Clinton) who was able to take the rate from 10% (Bush Sr.) down to 3.9% by the time he left office. The current administration has been struggling to keep it below 6% for most of their term.

The fact that we have power when we flip a switch is very nice, but the fuel necessary to ensure that power seems to be creating a stir. In fact, that's sort of the problem all of this is pointing out. It's not so much that we're worried about what's happening right now. We're happy we can do all of those things. We're worried about what's going to happen.

Populations grow. Consumption grows. How long before our consumption rate exceeds our rate of production? How long before we've raised the temperature of the Earth too much, or other factors simply make our environments “uninhabitable.” How long before the fuel runs out? Will I have a job if the unemployment rate keeps going up? People aren't dumb. I don't think we're worried so much about whether our feet hurt now while we're walking; I tknik we're worried about the fact that the path we're being led down has a sign that says “Danger!”

Jun 15 @ 9:24PM  
a great post! I for one thank God every day for what I DO have. I am also a firm believer that even though I may not agree with everything that my president has done, that I will support him, through the end.... cause after all.... we are not right their by the president's side every single day... so we do have to get our news from the media. But I always make sure that I take it all in with a grain of salt!

Jun 15 @ 9:31PM  
one man does not a country matter where the 2/3' s want to lay the "blame" ........i for one would not chose any other country to be born, live, and die in.......i guess i am one of the 30 or so percent that are happy to be here.......a kudo to you for posting and the rest of the ones i have to leno for saying it.............

Jun 15 @ 11:01PM  
Great blog, alot of trueth in Jay Leno's words...

Jun 15 @ 11:17PM  
Your so right, maybe we should all send Mr George Bush on a 3 day all expense paid quail hunting trip with Dick Cheney

Jun 16 @ 7:40AM  
Gry, you know that this is not the J. Leno we all know and love, a serious Jay? Kudos my friend. While I may not agree with all the politics of this country I am quite seriously happy to be an American. Too many people become focused on one thing or another in their selfishness and fail to see the whole picture.

Jun 16 @ 10:08AM  
Just think about it..... how many Mexicans take the risk to cross the boarder and why? Because there is nothing there. . How many other nationalities who are used to househelp but would rather be here in the USA and do their own laundry, cook and clean their own apartment, drive their own car, I know one. . because the bullshit is just too much they'd rather be here. . .opression, corruption and whatever ions Mr. Webster could offer, they find it in their own country. Jay is right, this country has the most ungrateful citizen who does nothing but complain. They don't see how lucky they are, but for the greatfull ones, be happier, you're here, you're assured of peaceful night. Don't bother to think about what might happen, you may not live to see it and by doing so would it add a single waking moment of your life?

Jun 16 @ 12:05PM  
This is an incredible country to live in DESPITE the president, not because of him. You can't possibly credit him for ensuring that our utilities are functional. Local governments and private companies are responsible for that. Moreover, let's examine the following:

when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital....You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.

Well, again, Bush really isn't responsible for ANY of that. You know what he IS responsible for? FEMA. Too bad we didn't see such alacrity from our emergency safety net in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11?

Please. Anyone can do a lot of blustering about hunting terrorists down. It takes a real loser, though, to get confused about where they come from and invade the wrong country. Indeed, he guided us--right into one of history's worst military morasses with no end in sight.

cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession?
No. Fiscal policy does not rescue economies; monetary policy, which falls under the control of the Federal Reserve, is the engine.

I could go on. The point is, the media are not responsible for fueling my negativity; I can think for myself. Besides, the most powerful voices on television and radio are ultraconservative demagogues: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Peggy Noonan, William Safire, Linda Chavez, Charles Krauthammer, all of Fox News (the most watched news network)--any of those names sound familiar? So, despite the cheerleaders on GOP TV, somehow I find the wherewithal to dislike our president. I'm not unhappy about living here; this is the best country in the world, and I'm incredibly grateful that I was born here, and born with means. This is about policy, not quality of life, and it's certainly our prerogative to whine about our leadership. Plenty of countries don't even let you do that, so in my mind, the whining and the griping are almost musical; they represent the most valuable element of freedom which we are so privileged to take for granted.

My $.02, or perhaps a tad more...

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Subject: A commentary about the U.S. by Jay Leno