February 23, 2003


Terrorist threats. Impending war. Soft economy. Racial disharmony. Political fighting. Lately, it seems that there's not a lot of good to say about the good ol' U.S.A.

In her blog, A Small Victory, Michele responded to the recent spate of opinion pieces from around the globe that fall under the heading of "What is There to Like About America?"

So what is there to like about America? I mean, besides the freedoms we have that most of these opinion writers and letter-to-the-editor professionals fail to mention.

And then came the challenge:

Why don't you help me out? What is so great about America, anyhow? What makes it such a wonderful place? What would you tell a foreigner about your home state? Pick a state, provide links. Leave it in the comments and I'll add your contribution to the list as I go along. And then I'm going to send it to every single foreign newspaper that had some idiotic article detailing how little there is to like about America.

I'm sorry, but at first, I ignored this as just a throwaway post - something to give her vast throng of fans something to do while she thought of something else to amuse us with. Plus, I was afraid it would turn into an "America - Love It or Leave It" post. Blech. I love America from the tip of its little nose to the top of its little toes, but I can't stand shouts of empty patriotism. I should have known better...

I watched as the comments came rolling in. They weren't like that at all.

They came with humor.
They came with neat links.
They came with insight.
For those that left home, they came with longing.
They came with pride.

They came with love.

So many comments and links and posts and stuff came in that I offered to help Michele organize them into a semi-coherent form. Thus, this blog. One post per state with comments open for you to add more info. I've moved all the original comments as of this writing into the blog post for the state mentioned.

I tried to fill in the gaps for those poor states that didn't get any lovin', but I know that there has to be other readers out there that could tell us more heartfelt stuff about their homes.

So, here it is for you. Keep it coming. Tell us more about your favorite state. You don't have to make it pretty. It hardly even has to make sense! Like this country, just put some heart into it and everything will be all right.

Alan: "This isn't about a specific state, but it's quite possibly what I like most about the whole damn place:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

UPDATE: Poor Eve didn't find a place to put her most excellent comments about her home - Washington, D.C. (Did you know they have their own flag?)

So, I am adding posts for D.C. and for those who live in those remnants of colonial times: American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

And I'm all about international peace and harmony. If anyone wants to start up a "What's Not to Like About Canada, Eh?" blog, I'll be glad to help!

UPDATE 2: I did eventually have to shut off the comments (die, spammers, die!). However, if you still wish to add your two cents, just drop me an e-mail at solonor AT solonor DOT com.

Posted by Lester on February 23, 2003 02:52 AM

Great job Guy!

Posted by: Tall Fella on February 22, 2003 02:12 PM

Cool! I declared my love for Oregon. :-)

Posted by: Hey Lisa on February 22, 2003 02:15 PM

Oh me oh my and a custard pie, as my (Arizonan) grandmother would say!

More Hawai'i on its way later.

Posted by: Linkmeister on February 22, 2003 02:49 PM

Nationalism kills.

Posted by: foobar on February 23, 2003 08:46 PM

Solonor, thank you for putting this together so beautifully. Michele, thank you for the inspiration. And to all the contributors and commenters, I salute you. In a time when it is so easy to forget the little things that we all love and take for granted, this is a refreshing reminder of what is great and wonderful about this nation of ours.

Posted by: Teresa on February 24, 2003 10:08 AM

Very, very cool. Excellent job! Thanks so much for setting this up for all of us.

Posted by: Chari on February 24, 2003 03:56 PM

Hey the Brits are loving us too!

Posted by: Joe on February 25, 2003 04:07 PM

Solonor, this is amazing. I've read all the posts, and ... I just want to thank you so much for creating this forum. It's beautiful ... to hear these voices from all over America. Thanks again.

Posted by: Sheila on February 26, 2003 10:15 AM

I (Dutch) enjoyed these from-the-heart views of the U.S. very much. They're better than the media! Thank you.

Posted by: Julius on February 27, 2003 06:48 PM

Korea, 1951. God bless the USA

Posted by: Al on March 2, 2003 11:29 AM

My mother always said "Me oh my, I'm glad cows don't fly

Posted by: Al on March 2, 2003 11:30 AM

This is great, a real public service. No flag-waving, no love it or leave it, just, "this is our home and the folks we call neighbors and friends, and that is what we like it."

Posted by: Jimbo on March 16, 2003 06:01 AM