Tuesday, July 05, 2005

What we did for the Fourth of July

Bill and I enjoyed (if that’s the right word) a long holiday weekend. Fourth of July weekend has always been special to us. We usually celebrate it with steaks on a grill, a trip out to the local fireworks display, and often a trip to a gun range.

Yesterday’s weather in New Hampshire was glorious and not too hot either. So, what did we do on our holiday weekend? We stayed in the new condo laying flooring. I’m so tired of stooping, crawling on the floor, kneeling, sawing, and hammering that I could just scream. We’re almost done. We made an amateur’s mistake of not getting quite enough product to cover the floor (we measured accurately, but angles, alcoves, etc. caused more waste than we thought). Now, we’ll have to buy a little more to fill an agonizingly thin strip of subfloor

We took time to reflect on living in America. There’s no other place I’d want to live. We have warts as a nation. Yeah, we’ve made foreign and internal policy mistakes. We displaced our aborigines and our ancestors took too great a delight in killing them. We muddled in politics in South America and Vietnam when we probably should have sit back and left well enough alone.

We, as a nation, have made these mistakes, but I’m tired of the people who see nothing but mistakes while giving even worse offenders a pass. Look at little Belgium. They had African colonies and paid bounties for severed hands of escaped rubber plantation laborers. Look at New Zealand and their Moriori policies of virtual extermination at the hands of Maoris. Look at the Soviet Union as an example of meddling in the affairs of other states. America haters give these and other states a pass.

Look at what we have here. Bill and I don’t have to prove our patriotism. We’re free to lay a floor or attend a Fourth of July picnic. We’re even free to buy a gun—few nations can say that to the extent Americans can.

We’ve had losses of liberty. We had the ten-year long Assault Weapon Ban, but that’s dead now. There’s the Kelo decision, but that’s outraged enough people that legislators may curb their abuses. There’s work to do in order to secure our individual liberties, but we still live in a great country.

Bill and I took an hour or so off and went down to the local Fourth of July celebration midway to watch people, see model airplanes fly, watch a karate school demonstration, see a hot air balloon soar to the extent of its surly tethers. But, we didn’t stay for fireworks. We eased our aching bodies home for a salmon dinner and an early bedtime.

Next year we promise to include guns in our Fourth of July celebration. We’ll shoot skeet or even better we’ll shoot a few of our World War I and World War II era battle rifles. We’ll also reflect on advances in liberty and losses of liberty and hopefully there will be much more of the former than the latter. Whatever we do will not include home improvements.

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