Happy 4th of July! It is hard to celebrate the 4th of July in Estonia; it gets dark around midnight, so fireworks are out. We will also be in the states in a few days, so we didn't want to spend a lot of money on Ben and Jerry's ice cream. This year we watched the hunt for Red October. I hadn't seen that movie in probably 20 years. It was awesome! The captain of the sub wanted to defect to the US, and who can blame him? His first officer's dream was to live in Montana and drive a pickup truck. Not quite as nice as a Denali in Idaho, but not too far off. There are lots of things that I miss when I am here in Estonia: thick carpet, good cheap peanut butter, candy, the brown baron Idaho landscape, air conditioning, cheap clothes, donuts, going to church for only 3 hours, Mexican food, Chinese food, fast food, the sea lions in San Francisco and of course family.
What makes America special though is not the all you can eat buffets at the Golden Corral, or the large cushy SUVs. What makes America special is freedom. Some people ask why I live in Estonia or why I like it here, well I think it comes back to freedom. Estonia is a special place that got its freedom only 20 years ago. At the national dance and song festivals you can feel the gratitude that these people have for their freedom. Estonia is a great place. When going to Finland or Latvia there is no border, you can vote online, pay your taxes online, and where all the banking is online. It is a place where I feel safe and free. I'm not saying that Estonia is better than the US, or that the US is better than Estonia. I'm not sure how long I will be here but I know I am very glad to be here, I have a wonderful Estonian wife and am getting a great education.
Soon I will be flying home where I will be given the choice to be virtually strip searched by the TSA’s new scanning machine or to be patted down by a TSA agent. Recently I read about an old grandma from Michigan who was given the option of having her adult diaper searched or not getting on the plane. This is a scary precedent that is developing and this is not the type of government that our founding fathers established. So this 4th of July let’s remember that freedom makes our country special and let's hope that it lasts. God bless the USA.