A Detour on Independence Day
I have spent the last week in Likely, California (population 63, elevation 4,449), three hours north of Reno atop the Modoc Plateau, doing narrow-band and photographic imaging of the stars under some of the darkest night skies in the United States. Additionally, there has been no internet or cell phone reception within 20 miles – a blessed interruption from the ever-expanding catalog of scandals, corruption, and catastrophic domestic and foreign policy failures that typify the administration currently in power.
Looking up at the Milky Way, our own galaxy, that each night gracefully arches overhead from horizon to horizon, those eternal questions about life, death, and our place in this vast universe come easily to mind. And those eternal answers detailing mankind’s folly, our unbending penchant for power, wealth, and religious zealotry, remain as constant as the Milky Way itself.
So on this Fourth of July, let us celebrate what we have created, remember our strength, and not dwell, until tomorrow, on the self-inflicted paralysis the United States of America has suffered during the past half-decade.
We have created “one nation under God” with more liberty, justice, and religious freedoms for more people than ever in ten thousand years of human history.
We believe in an equal balance of power among the branches of government.
Our Founders created a radical Constitution, and we expect our leaders to obey its framework and the spirit of its wisdom.
We have a Bill of Rights, a right to vote, and a right to bear firearms. We elect our federal and local government representatives, and we live with consequences of those votes until the next election.
We have an abundance of food, water, energy, and natural resources, unmatched in human history.
We give the individual the right of judicial redress, so in America, the little guy can fight the entrenched interests and governmental overreach.
We cherish our wilderness, to be saved for future generations. We all want every American, not just the rich and privileged, to visit and enjoy these natural riches.
We have created a nation that thrives on entrepreneurship, on competition, on a lightly regulated capitalism that has created the wealthiest nation in human history.
We have created an education system that equally allows women and men to learn, compete, and excel.
Most Americans are optimists, who want to help, to give back to their community.
We have created a country where your parent’s race, class, political persuasion, and religion are not to be held against the future success of your children.
Feel free to add your comments about what we have created here in America. Perhaps you have a story to share. We know we have a very hard journey ahead against an implacable foe within our own government. But we must hold tight to the hope of what was envisioned by our forefathers, and what can still be for the United States of America on its 238th birthday.