Happy Birthday America

For many Americans, this one included, the last eight months have been hard. We are not showing the world the side of our country that we love and are proud of. We are showing the world the side of our country that embarrasses us.

But even with the recognition that America has an ugly side, I still am incredibly proud to be a citizen of this great country. Warts and all, the United States of America is a land of opportunity, hope, and freedom. You can be who you want to be and what you want to be here. I am proof of that.

So Happy Birthday America. Let’s wave our flags and be proud today.

#Random Posts

Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    Happy Independence Day!Enjoy it while it lasts, …you upstart colonialist renegades 😉

  2. William Mougayar

    Nothing is perfect in life. Applies to people and countries too. My motto is to make the best of every situation, and focus on the good, while fighting or ignoring the bad.We recently went on a drive to Chicago, passing though the states of Ohio, Indiana, New York and Illinois, and it was interesting to see every variation of the American flag almost everywhere. My wife observed “They really like to show their flag in the US.”

    1. PhilipSugar

      I resemble that remark. Look how many flags my wife has out and there are two missing from a storm in the front, and I have not put up the flag pole sitting under the deck in the back. Funny story I’m sitting next to a guy on the plane and he says he is coming back from visiting Target and he has eight textile plants in the U.S. I’m intrigued. In the U.S.?? Yes, he owns Valley Forge Flag. I show him my house. He says your wife bought those half circles at Dollar General not made in U.S. next time tell her to go to Home Depot or Target and buy my stuff. I texted her he was right just from this view.

      1. LE

        See my comment below, he must compete with Humphreys.

    2. creative group

      William Mougayar:we are interested in what your wife thinks of you and your evangelism on Crypto and the Blockchain.

    1. jason wright


    2. Twain Twain

      Lucky you! I’m so envious right now!Happy Indy Day to everyone and hope you have a super-cool day with family and friends.

  3. Richard

    Happy 4th, the individual, life, liberty and the persuit of happiness, the laws of nature, natural law, universal law, liberty vs tyranny

  4. Salt Shaker

    My, my how things have changed:”I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”–George Washington

    1. JamesHRH

      Great campaign slogan, but donors need payback!

  5. kidmercury

    Oh god, nationalism is so 20th century, especially as the currency revolution unfolds. Why dont we celebrate the telegraph and horse and buggy while we’re at it.Also, if you really want to celebrate the fourth, 9/11 was an inside job. Recognition of that fact is truly in the American spirit!

  6. pointsnfigures

    Pretty amazing what can happen when a government steps back and allows liberty to flourish among its people. Those old guys in Philadelphia had it right (and truth be told, most were in their 30s and 40s so not very old) https://allthingsliberty.co… Average age of a Declaration of Independence signer, 44.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      That was a lot older then. Regardless wisdom to this degree at any age is remarkable.

  7. JLM

    .To us Americans, us incredibly lucky people — I often wonder what we have done to earn the privileges and rights of being Americans? Have we earned this? Can any man/woman really earn this?God bless us all.God bless America — still the best hope for mankind and the world.Happy birthday, America, and many more.I stand in awe of the story of America and wonder what we ever did to deserve Geo Washington? There has not been a man since who could hold that man’s horse.God bless us all.Happy 4th of July.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. sigmaalgebra

      For some music, a guy in England playing on organ some Russian music about the Russians beating arms and legs off the French in 1812 that the US commonly uses on this day to celebrate our beating the arms and legs off the British in 1776!https://www.youtube.com/wat

  8. thomas28

    USA is the country of the freedom I love this county!! Has everything you want. So, happy birthday America and from dodland.com . AVC is one of the best blogging sites and we love it all of us! Every day has very interesting articles.

  9. Renee Leibler

    We are all so blessed to freely voice our opinions-even here on this platform. Happy Birthday USA!

  10. Jeremy Robinson

    Happy Birthday America! As the musical “Hamilton” notes, we are fortunate to have a lot of immigrants here who “get things done.” Tough time for our country. Lots of questions but lots to feel good about in the long run. A good day to relax and reflect and then come back later in this week or next and work even harder at helping all people in the US be able to become dreamers and live in this crazy, wonderful pursuit of happiness because we love this place and the larger world we live in so darn much. Yes, it will be love, not hate that will bust us out of this funk we’ve gotten ourself lost in.

  11. Dana Hoffer


  12. JimHirshfield

    Happy Fourth y’all

  13. dineshn72

    Happy 4th of July!! Fred, one of these days you should blog about leadership and team chemistry in startups — seeing KD take $10M less to re-sign with your not-so-favorite team and thereby help retain the core of the team was a stunning move, and shows the remarkable team chemistry the Dubs have…Every once in a while you see “team magic” happening, and while I’ve been lucky to experience that once in my career, I wonder how many startups have you seen that at…Most places will have some amount of bickering and/or falling out of founding team, but I’m sure at one or two everything just clicked and it was awesome to see…

    1. LE

      When I was growing up my Dad owned a several buildings across from and around Betsy Ross House (Old City Philly). He rented and then later sold one of the buildings to (World Famous) Humphrey’s Flag company. They picked the location specifically because it was across from that landmark as a marketing angle.http://www.humphrysflag.com…I see now they have a mfg plant in Pottstown PA. They used to operate 100% out of the Arch St. building…. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

      1. PhilipSugar

        I see that. See my comment to William. That is their competitor

        1. LE

          Interesting stuff just forked to find out about that company.This article where they stopped making the confederate flag:http://www.philly.com/phill…They belong to this association which got a law passed saying government entities must purchase US Made flags.http://www.fmaa-usa.com/leg…Apparently all their flags are made in the USA.They need to have that across the top of their webpage not hidden as they do.

    2. jason wright

      a very classical looking American home. where’s the horse?

      1. PhilipSugar

        I have both tether and the boot jack. Along with a photo from the second owner in 1872 and the deed where his Dad gave it to him for a wedding present.The horses are at Winbak Farms which has 2,000 acres on the edge of town: http://www.winbakfarm.com/

  14. PhilipSugar

    My backyard continues the theme. We do not put up the flags for the holiday. They stay up year around https://uploads.disquscdn.c

      1. Rob Underwood

        This is gratuitous but couldn’t resist. Matching New England Patriots and “Don’t Tread on Me” cornhole sets. And yes, Aerosmith is the music of choice (but NO Eagles of course). https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    1. Rob Underwood

      This young entrepreneur is raising money for her dance team by rowing around the pond selling popsicles on the water. We bought $5 worth. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

      1. Donna Brewington White

        I can never resist a child entrepreneur or sales person. It is now my personal mission to encourage them. They probably think I’m strange.

  15. BillMcNeely

    My son Colgan is spending the 4th with his new uncle aunt and cousins. This is his first time at The Gulf https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  16. Lawrence Brass

    Greetings to my friends in the USA and those who still believe in the American dream.Happy 4th of July.

  17. Donna Brewington White

    Well said.

  18. JamesHRH

    I applaud your willingness to voice your disapproval of the current administration. It is what makes America Great ( not Again, Always ).I spent the 4th in Coos Bay, Oregon. I imagine it’s Trump country – a lot of dual axle 1/2 ton trucks on display for the fireworks. Not a lot of post-docs in Eastern Religion or Women’s Studies. Definitely no crypto currency chat.Great crowd. Lots of fun. Good fireworks show ( the Kabooms echo off the dunes! ).Downtown Coos Bay is pretty much hollow. A really good female entrepreneur coffee shop, but the big bricks and mortar shops are empty.As Michele tours the US in her new role, people she works with describe places as ‘NAFTA towns’ – places that had factory jobs that left.I think it would be great for America if you got over your embarrassment ( Trump’s a deeply damaged person, but no more so than Bill or Hillary Clinton ) and reflected on the blue collar folks in the lumber, fishing, energy trades that voted for Trump ( after voting for Obama ) in a fairly desperate attempt to see their towns come back to life.How can you help them?The idea of America is still the greatest idea in the history of mankind. It’s execution will never meet its ideals and yet, it will rival all other civilizations throughout history.Happy Belated 4th!

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Poignant thoughts, James.It is always so interesting to me to hear how this country is perceived. Those of you that share the continent have a unique vantage point.

  19. PhilipSugar

    Charlie does not talk the talk he walks the walk. He has earned his right to his opinions.He and I can disagree and we need more of this

    1. JamesHRH

      I agree he walks the walk which is what makes the talk so frustrating.I would not even bother if he was just a typical rabble rousing left nut. He needs to do better, as do @JLM:disqus & @fredwilson:disqus , because they have walked the walk but they have chosen not to engage very much.Charlie’s suggested form of engagement is downright scary though.

      1. PhilipSugar

        I think it is sad that many people cannot engage. I think he and I do more than most.

        1. JamesHRH

          He likely deserves more slack, as his working life is so aligned with his philosophy.But, lecturing at people while not engaging them gets old. I know it does when I do it.

  20. jason wright

    a promise is a very flexible thing. it serves the needs of the plutocrats so well. keep dreaming in perpetuity of better things to come. you may have to settle for that.

  21. JLM

    .Hey, Charlie, what size shirt do you wear?There’s a special on hair shirts and I’m going to get you one.Democracy is a dynamic clash of ideas which never ends. The pendulum swings to and fro. We will never arrive at an equilibrium state.Your idea of what is fair and equal is just an idea and no better than mine.It’s called life and living it in the US of A is as good as it gets.News flash — your guy didn’t win. Deal with it and move on.Shirt size?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  22. Richard

    Who are these experts that decide on what is fair and what is equal? How do we find them? If we did find them, how do we get them to stop what they are doing to join this team of fairness and equality? What if they loose their abilities? How do we remove them?

  23. PhilipSugar

    I agree with the sentiment but I do not agree with the solution.Forcing people to take those classes which will have a BIG agenda (sorry they just will) will cause more of a backlash and division.I thought about volunteering we do that with Zipcode Wilmington. But forcing somebody to “volunteer” is a complete farce.Having speakers? That might work, but again you have to have both sides.When those students at Berkeley rioted against having that Milos whatevername speak, and the University charged a security fee which they don’t for liberal speakers they did more to cement people’s distain for the “liberal elite” than could be imagined.Hell, even I think they should lose all of their public funding.

  24. JamesHRH

    Charlie, I applaud your intent but find your self righteousness quite arrogant.Are there more ways to define success than to have white men define it? Sure.Are the ideals that underpin America the ideas of white ( I.e., Western European men )?Duh.Personally, my reaction to being told I need to check my privilege and become more aware of systemic racism is to telll people to Fuck Off. Why? The people telling me to do so have done no work at all in finding out my state of Wokeness.And, of course, the idea that they are so Woke It Hurts and I am therefore, Not Woke & a Troll is deeply offensive, wildly self-involved and off the charts arrogant.Submitted for our reflection as you enjoy the rest of the summer.

  25. JLM

    .OK, so I put you down for an XL with a larger neck.It’s policy which really counts. Policy is what actually touches people.I, personally, applaud real policies like:Fabulous Cabinet, great new SCOTUS Justice, out of TPP/Paris Accord, renegotiating NAFTA, Keystone XL underway, Dakota pumping oil, US net exporter of crude, better relations with Saudi Arabia & Israel, called out Qatar, firm position on Syria — let me catch my breath.OK, got USA’s cojones out of the pawn shop, knocked out 20% of Syrian air force when they redlined it, walked them back when they tried to do it again, shot down Syrian jet, dealing with NK in real time, called Cuba out for who they really are, Canadian softwood tariff, energy independence, illegal immigration down 80% at the border.And, there’s more.Looking at 3.5% GDP growth and bitcoin is fabulous (that’s for Wm). NATO getting jacked up to pay its own way.Forgive me if I don’t fall prey to some style point nonsense. And, yeah, I’m happy.Oh, yeah, forgot one thing — the Sword Dance. Have to dig the Sword Dance.Of course, I am aghast about the Russian collusion thing. Even if there is no evidence, still aghast.This is a good time to be alive. Getting better, not worse.On second thought, let me send you an XXXL.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  26. LE

    I think you have to face that all of our problems (either today or X years ago) fall squarely on the fact that everyone acts in their own self interest and to JLM’s point people simply think that their ideas are the ones that everyone else should follow and are best. This is similar to people in the US thinking that our values are the values that the entire rest of the world should follow (so tribes can’t marry off 12 year olds or whatever they do in certain places) as a wild way to illustrate. Or our education, courts and so on. How we operate is how everyone should operate. Crystal clear.Back to the US. Nobody budges. The reps don’t budge because in order to stay elected they have to capitulate to their voting base. This makes more sense than it doesn’t. It’s a dance that they do. It should be no surprise. And that assumes that everyone even agrees on the facts which of course they don’t.So if you want to place blame don’t even place it on the elected reps. Place it on the people that elect them. And I don’t mean that in the obvious way it sounds either (as in ‘duh no kidding’). I mean there are very few people out there that are going to continue to vote for a politician that cut a deal that didn’t support what the voter thought was what they should do even if it was necessary in order to compromise some other issues.My question is this. If you had been elected to the Congress how would you vote? Would you vote in a way that is best for the entire country even at the expense of where you lived or would you vote as is best for Lancaster or the area that you represented?The funny thing is back in the good old days of backroom deals oddly enough things actually got done because I think the people could compromise with less fear of having the voters constantly breathing down their necks. That’s a wild guess. Not that they didn’t bring home the pork though.

  27. sigmaalgebra

    Our democracy is still truly and overwhelmingly representative just as soon, and not even an hour later, as the voters achieve a significant consensus, and typically 55% is sufficient, and communicate that to our elected representatives clearly by phone, letter, etc. Like RIGHT NOW, y’hear?Right now a big issue is having an “informed citizenry,” and for that we have usually been very poorly served. (1) There is the recent Sharyl Attkisson statement that essentially everything in the media is there to influence opinions of the voters and put there and paid for by special interests. (2) Athttp://nypost.com/2017/07/0…there is the recent Michael Goodwin piece that claims to explain what I call the NYT-MSM, Democrat, Goebbels-style (repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it) propaganda, made-up, cooked-up, stirred-up, faked-up, gang-up, pile-on lying media. (3) Athttp://press-pubs.uchicago….is Jefferson’s total evisceration of the press.Somehow, even with the newsies making messes nearly as much as they can, often our citizens have become informed. Just now, with the NYT and MSM on the way out of business and the Internet on the rise, we have new opportunities to have a well informed citizenry and, thus, a better representative democracy, one that is more likely to avoid, say, Viet Nam, Gulf War II, Akrapistan, the crash of 2008, and nearly everything about Obama (my carefully considered opinion is that Obama deeply, profoundly, bitterly hates and despises the US and did and continues to do everything he can to weaken the US and was put in power by the NYT-MSM, Democrat, Goebbels-style propaganda media for reasons well explained by Goodman). IMHO Hillary hates the US with similar intensity, would sell the whole place to the highest bidder even if that were for only 10 cents. Her husband went around the world shouting “Hillary for sale!”.Hillary is one heck of a contrast to General Washington and troops with theirWe Mutually Pledge To Each Other Our Lives, Our Fortunes And Our Sacred Honor And the NYT-MSM, Democrat, Goebbels-style propaganda media came way too close to getting that beast elected. I’m coming to hate the NYT-MSM, Democrat, Goebbels-style propaganda media?Trump’s NOT for sale.Obama hates Israel, and Trump is very close to the NY Jewish community and Israel. But nearly all of NYC loves Obama and hates Trump. This makes sense? It’s like the Polish Jews hoping that Hitler would take all of Poland instead of just half of it.For Obama, now we’ve tried that. For our transgressions, we have had our retribution, atonement, sacrificed, had our affirmative action POTUS, now more clearly understand why we didn’t do that before, are now just darned rock solidly positive we will for at least 100 years never even hint of making that mistake again, have achieved redemption and now can go forward free of both our sins and our disastrous retribution and atonement.Yes, as the old media bites the dust and new media on the Internet rises, informed citizens will want help in finding Internet content they will like! Gee, who’d think of such a thing?To me, Trump is terrific, fantastic. His style? Fine with me. His Twitter usage? Great: I get the most important news about what he is doing quickly and directly from him.Looks to me like his MAGA goal is quite literally the case and that he is doing really well so far — TPP, Keystone, Paris Accords, Saudi deal, new coal mines, enforcing our immigration laws, meeting with foreign leaders, having Mattis, etc. handle ISIS, chopping back Common Core and the grotesque, quasi-religious excesses of the EPA, getting us going on energy, all of the above including nuclear, putting Merry Christmas back in the holidays, helping our veterans, raising our sense of patriotism, his SCOTUS appointment, getting the Federal Government off the backs and out of the pockets of people and businesses, etc.Yes, recently Senator Gillibrand spouted off “Fuck no” on any claim that Trump has kept any of his campaign promises. Guess the Senator has been reading only the NYT-MSM, Democrat, Goebbels-style propaganda media while listening to Mika and her boyfriend. The Senator is wildly uninformed or assumes that nearly all the voters are. She seems to be in with what Goodman wrote about — just playing along with the Hildabeast tribe. Sounds like the Senator is eager to join an in-group but is a bit slow and poor at picking a good group to join.The NYT-MSM, Democrat, Goebbels-style propaganda media will soon discover that they are wrong about Trump as they have been for two years and that he actually is popular and having a very successful term.Then even the Democrats in Congress will come around, Chucky will dry his eyes, wash and raise his glasses, give up on his dreams of Hildabeast and Kumbayah 24 x 7, Trump will be even more successful.Just what is it about a rapidly growing economy, rapidly rising standard of living, plenty of money to pay for MORE, we won’t like?I have a terrific track record: As often here at AVC, I liked Trump 2 years ago and have liked him daily more since then. I hoped he would win. And now, Trump is POTUS, and Hillary is not.Based on what Trump’s doing, he looks terrific to me.So far the NYT-MSM, Democrat, Goebbels-style propaganda media attacking Trump 24 x 7 with grade school playground style name calling has found as dirt on Trump that has any evidence at all, let’s see, right, the thing about two scoops of ice cream with the chocolate cream pie.The NYT-NSM, Democrat, Goebbels-style propaganda media has taken their best shots at Trump for 2 years now, and the worst they found was the two scoops of ice cream. So, they have provided Trump with very high praise from totally specious, empty, absurd damnation. Since the two scoops is the worst the found, the guy is close to angelic. Thank you Mika, you’ve done your best and shown that Trump is terrific. Same for your boyfriend. And Maxine Waters, you don’t have anything worse than the two scoops, do you? And same for Nasty Nancy, the San Francisco Treat.Don’t be taken in. The media is losing badly. Trump’s terrific.

  28. JamesHRH

    Press on Champ is top drawer, btw.

  29. Michael Elling

    People should downvote. I have never felt more safe and confident about the global scene in 54 years. NOT!

  30. PhilipSugar

    Look you and I agree on many things, but this is not one.What you propose is very close to “Forced Re-education by the Federal Government to get certain people elected and certain one’s not.” I can think of a ton of despotic governments that have had such programs, it’s almost a test to see if you are a despot.Do I think racism exists in this country? Yes. Does Lil Wayne? No.He has his right to his opinion.Would I ever let Milos into my office? Not a chance.But does he have the right to talk at the UofD if sponsored by a group? Yes. (even though I think he is a total sham, a complete acting job)I think we’ve lost sight of these things in the sting of the last election.

  31. JamesHRH

    I think you are wrong on the attitude issue. Both sides do it. It’s a form of disengagement – it’s an old look, as in old, tired and frustrated.America has structural disadvantages – it always has. Systemic racism – not even close.Ask Artie Moreno or Robert Johnson. Or white HS educated opioid abusers in Kentucky.It’s simple minded and superficial to focus on race.

  32. PhilipSugar

    It is a good band name.My point is this when you say:”history of bigotry and structural racism required coursesfor our representative democracy to function and prevent those who would undermine it from ever reaching power.”You have an agendaThen I get worried about where will it end?I have watched this movie play out before. In one of my very few liberal arts courses at Penn (Engineering and Business for me) I had a professor tell me that I needed to apologize to African Americans and women.For what??? Slavery. “My ancestors were in Italy until the 1900’s”I am not going to use the T word, but you know what for everything I hate about him (that is a strong word). He is keenly aware about how our representative democracy works and that is how he got elected. People cry about the popular vote but the founders had purposefully put in the electoral college to protect small states like the first state Delaware, that is also why we have the Senate in addition to the House and that is what the electoral college is based on both houses. If you take out just California Trump won by 1.4mm votes, take out NY and Illinois and that goes to 4.1mmThis in no way is in support of the President, but it is just the facts.The founders did not want to have populous states like at the time Virginia able to control the Union.But you have a clear agenda for those courses and it is so that somebody like our President (yes no matter what you think he is ours that is how I view all politicians. When they come to our office we give them the respect of their office) get elected,I respectivefully tell you that it is like judo or football. The way I push you is to pull you first and when you pull back I push and you go ass over teacups. That is what happened, and I am stunned that only people like Mark Wallenberg and me saw that one coming.

  33. JamesHRH

    Let’s try this again:Civics – absolutely should be required for HS.Bigotry – I assume most history courses teach that Micks, Wops, Spics, Chinks & Spooks all suffered bigotry and that most of those groups have overcome that bigotry.Systemic Racism – if you mean slavery, see response #2. If you mean that the system singles out races and works against them, no chance. If you mean that people of black heritage live in an alternate America, I agree – but I doubt that we agree on the how and why.The single greatest concern to me, as a new resident of the USA, is the militarization of local police forces – a deadly combination of the wrong attitude towards the job and inept screening / training.Having just driven the west coast, through Seattle, Portland and SF, my observation is that people of all races & creeds are both suffering and succeeding.Its not the system failing people as much as people failing as parents and as individuals.And, jobs like the ones you create would make a big difference on that front.I had to re-read all this – your teaching bigotry in school phrasing sent me sideways.