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.

More politics: I agree with the President

I’m seeing this quote form Obama’s second inaugural address:

Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

I know these words were written by someone else for the President to speak, but he spoke them as part of his address.

Regardless of who spoke them and who wrote them, I couldn’t agree more.

I can’t believe that this is even an issue, that a person’s sexual orientation is anybody’s business but that person’s. I don’t think of anyone as “gay” any more. I don’t have “gay” friends. I have friends. It’s about time we all did that and did so in every part of our lives.

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.