Eleven score and seventeen years ago, a bunch of brave and rebellious men declared independence from an oppressive and tyrannical king. The king started a war against the rebelling colony, which due to a lot of good luck, tenacity and strong will, won its independence. This fledgling nation had a lot of help from other countries, especially France, in its early days. Against the odds, it managed not only to survive, but to thrive. Over the next two hundred years or so, the United States of America became the greatest, most powerful, wealthiest nation on Earth. America was the envy of the world.

I was lucky enough to be born in America. The opportunities before me are not available to most people. Despite an oppressive, overbearing and intrusive government that is nothing like what the founding fathers would have imagined or tolerated, America is still the best country on Earth. This isn’t a criticism of our current administration, but our government in general. Members of Congress, the President, and an activist Judiciary have been gobbling up power and usurping the will of the people for decades, all while forcing those people to pay for it. It’s a gradual problem and we, the people, have let it happen. And we, the people will have to make a great effort to turn it around.

Even though I don’t like our current President and most of Congress, I respect the offices they represent. In spite of them, I am a proud American. I look at who we are as a nation of people, rather than our so-called leaders who resemble a dictatorial aristocracy more and more. When I look at the American people, I am proud. Many of us are still innovative, hard-working and honest as we have been for 237 years and more. We manage to persevere even with the government intruding into every facet of our lives, both personal and professional.

The Americans who “just get it” and keep on in spite of the challenges set before them are the people I salute and admire today. I also salute the Americans like them who came before us, expecting nothing but giving everything. They all embody the spirit of what John F. Kennedy said when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Let’s all take a few moments today and figure out how we can help America regain what it once had. Let’s take a moment to remind Congress and all leaders that they represent us; they don’t own us. Let’s take a moment to reflect on those who have sacrificed before us and let us thank them.

Thank you, America. Long may you live. Long may you prosper. Happy Birthday.

I won’t drink to that.

I’ve been hearing about New York City’s incredibly stupid ban on large drinks and other “unhealthy” foods. I’ll start by saying I don’t drink soda (I used to drink a lot of soda, but that’s kind of beside the point), and I haven’t been to the Big Apple in a few years. I don’t have a dog in this fight, so to speak.

Nonetheless, I’m really sick of the increasing nanny state and inconsistent laws. Apparently even with this ban, some stores like 7-11 can sell larger sizes of drinks while small mom and pop shops and restaurants can’t. It has something to do with states regulating some stores and the city others. I honestly don’t know the nuances of it, but it seems rather unfair to have a double soda standard where a business at 123 Main St. can sell something and the business at 125 Main St. can’t sell the exact same thing.

It seems ridiculous to tell consumers it’s fine to have only certain quantities of products available to them. If I have 20 ounces of Coke, it’s OK, but 40 ounces is somehow bad? What’s to prevent me from simply ordering two 20-ounce sodas or even more?

Michael Bloomberg was challenged about the unfairness of the law, allowing certain businesses to sell the larger sized drinks. His reply? “The State of New York should do this, too.”

What an unmitigated ass. How did anyone with any sense allow this to pass?

I don’t like being told what to do. Nobody does, really. Sometimes it’s necessary, but this crosses the line. It’s the government wielding power under the disguise of health and good intentions. It’s invasive, costly and completely unnecessary.  It’s the government protecting people form themselves, but offering no real protection. (Gee, kind of reminds me of the TSA, but that’s another rant).

Worse, every single provision of these bans is easily and legally circumvented, which makes the entire law utterly pointless. It’s government perpetuating itself with no benefit to the people at the expense of the people.

Like I said, I don’t drink soda, but I do go to New York every few years as a tourist. I won’t be doing that now. I cannot support such stupidity. I still love New York, but her mayor needs to reconsider the difference between what is really good for the city and what is pandering to some misguided health lobby trying to protect people form an evil that doesn’t exist. Cocaine is illegal in New York in any size, but I don’t see that ban stopping anyone who wants it in any quantity they can afford from getting it.

Mayor Bloomberg: get your well-intentioned, misguided head out of your ass and I’ll come visit New York. Heck, we can even have a large Dr. Pepper if you want. Until then, it’s unsweetened iced tea for me here in Denver. Really really large glasses.

Our government has been stolen from the people

I don’t (yet) have an answer for this one, but I wonder how we, as a nation, have allowed ourselves to get such crappy leadership. Congress, you suck! The executive branch is on a power grab, and it’s not just the current regime. It’s been happening for years. Our government “of the people” is no longer. We are now vassals of a vast, far reaching, overpowering federal bureaucracy.

As a society, it’s a nice luxury to be able to provide everything to every body and protect everyone form everything. But it’s also impossible economically and socially. I don’t care how much anyone says otherwise, providing entitlement programs and “free” stuff to citizens paid for by The State is, by its very definition, Socialism. Not all Socialism is necessarily bad, but most is. We should stop our trend toward becoming more Socialistic and moving back toward personal accountability.

It’s bad for many reasons. It’s expensive and inefficient. It steals ambition and dreams. It concentrates undeserved power into the hands of an elite ruling class, which is NOT what America is about. Sure, a move away from Socialism comes with some pain. Everyone needs to pitch in a bit more and I’m not talking taxes. I’m talking about getting out and contributing to society ins some way. Not working? Get a job. Got a lot of money, donate some to charity. No job? No money? Donate your time! Do something instead of taking something.

Basically, if you’re not pitching in, it’s time to start.

Before I start a 50,000 word screed, I’m going to stop here and just leave this as is (don’t worry, I’ve will have more later). I’ll close with this: If the founding fathers of America were alive today, they would stage another revolution.