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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rockets! Freedom! We the People!

When I was a kid, there could be no greater summer disappointment than a cloudy, drizzly 4th of July. How can you enjoy a cool dip in Lake Herman when you're already wet? But hey, at least the fireworks won't set the drfits of cottonwood seeds on fire.

While I wait for the sun to break through for my Fourth of July bike tour of the local land of the free, here are some notes on rockets and freedom:
  • North Korea is getting into the Independence Day spirit, firing rockets off its east coast. I'm thinking that's great: the more they test, the fewer rockets they have left in their stockpile for genuine mischief. Meanwhile, some North Koreans are making a run for real independence, with the help of a few brave Americans.
  • Sarah Palin's Google juice is surely rocketing skyward this weekend. The only way I can make sense of her declaration of independence from political responsibility yesterday: she's getting ready to serve all Americans ("...and I don’t care what party they’re in or no party at all") by starting her own talk radio program. Or she's going to start a blog.
  • Another reasons rockets are cool: they take us to space, where we can get amazing views like these of the Sarychev Volcano eruption (June 12). Watching Earth's fireworks from orbit: ooooh! aaaah!
  • I still think shooting off bottle rockets in a target-rich environment (like downtown Brookings) is unwise, but the Moonies at the Washington Times say fire away! They note that states that ban fireworks see a higher rate of death-by-firecracker than states with free-fire(cracker) zones. Firecracker-lover Dick Cavett reminds as that his beloved ordnance "can be hellishly, horribly dangerous." But as the WashTimes Moonies insist, what good is freedom if you can't blow stuff up?
  • Or, as John Adams put it, we ought to celebrate America's independence "by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."
Hey! The clouds are breaking on Lake Herman! Rain or no, celebrate the best holiday of all... and remember what Captain Kirk says about We the People: "These words and the words that follow were not written only for the Yangs, but for the Kohms as well. They must apply to everyone, or they mean nothing!"

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