Happy 4th of July!

Tomorrow is Independence Day!  Most of us around here will have to get our fireworks fix from the TV rather than in person.  The county-wide burn ban has been extended to include fireworks.  It appears that most of our region is under the same restrictions due to the drought.

It’s just not the same thing when you can’t smell the gunpowder and feel the boom in your chest.  While it would be very cool to see the fireworks in Washington like in the picture to the right, nothing can really beat watching fireworks light up the sky over Lake Maxinkuckee.  I think the water enhances the sound when you’re watching from a distance and often you get a double display as you see the bursts of color reflected on the water.

For many years we would make an annual pilgrimage of it and meet with friends and relatives at the lake to have a bon-fire and cookout as we waited for the show.  Our nieces and nephews grew up anticipating the annual gathering.  Unfortunately those days are gone.

July 4th, 2012 is falling in an election year.  Once again we’re being told that this is the most important election ever!  I’ve heard that a few too many times to put a lot of stock in it.  Neither side’s dominance is likely to result in an Independence Day (the 1996 movie) destruction of the White House as depicted to the left.  That doesn’t mean that the partisanship isn’t excessive in Washington right now.  Whoever wins, even by a slim margin, will call it a mandate and think it gives them license to push the pendulum as far as possible in their direction. 

I am currently reading a book about Benjamin Franklin.  It’s been interesting reading about how one of our founding fathers struggled with the choice to fight for independence and the various minor grievances that were compounded to create the original decision.  (I’ve always been partial to old Ben despite what he did to us with DST!)  It’s enlightening to relate those historic events to current movements such as the TEA Party and MoveOn.org.  To quote Dan Brown, “History is always written by the winners.”   It will be interesting to see what comes of our current culture clashes.

Here’s another good quote I like from Winston Churchill, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”  Despite the terrible partisanship, we are still better off than North Korea, Iran or any of the other radical governments out there.  Tomorrow is a good day to set aside the politics and think about the positive things about our nation.  Take some time while enjoying the holiday cookout to think about how our country started and what we have.  Fly a flag and give thanks to those that created our nation as well as those that are currently protecting our freedom here and overseas.  Happy 4th of July!

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