After another glorious July 4th celebration with our good friends Tim & Carol, we managed to arrive home in time to watch the annual fireworks display from our front porch.  We could clearly hear the deep thump of each mortar launch followed by the booming report as projectiles burst into dazzling pyrotechnic blossoms.

My 15-year-old son wondered aloud about what it must have been like for the brave defenders of Fort McHenry during the British bombardment during the War of 1812.  It was a rhetorical question borne out of recent local commemorations of the 200th anniversary of that conflict.  And, even though on that day we were celebrating the events of 1776, we quickly turned our attention back to the rockets' red glare and the bombs bursting in air, imagining ourselves transported back to that night at Fort McHenry.

It really activated my imagination and I found myself thinking about having to fight the British on American soil for the second time in a thirty year span.  My thoughts then turned back to 1776 when the signers of the Declaration of Independence risked their property and their lives by taking a bold stand for Freedom.

When they said, “we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor,” they meant it!  I wondered: outside of our amazing military men and women, how many of our present-day leaders have the conviction and fortitude to take similar risks to assure our Freedom?

Wow, what a depressing thought that was.  I really can't think of a single political leader today who values Freedom so deeply that he would even risk re-election to take a bold stand on the side of Freedom, let alone his/her property or life.  Congress and our local lawmakers have gradually eaten into our freedoms each and every year and Americans either think its a good idea or they are too busy playing Words with Friends to do anything about it.

I recently saw a headline that read something like, "It's the Declaration of Independence, not 'Dependence.'" People seem all too willing to leave things up to the government and, taken as a whole, government is immense.  Most people have no real appreciation for the true size of government and they're inclined to think government is a good thing.  After all, they're "trying to protect us."  Horse hockey!

This blog is part of a business web site, so let me link this back to business.  If "government" is really so great, how many of you would hire any of our current crop of government leaders to run your company? [crickets...]

Just as I thought.  These people are not fit to deal with the increasingly complex issues into which government continually insinuates itself.  The evidence is plain to see in every installment of the evening news when at least one career politician achieves candidacy in the Moronic Hall of Fame with some absurdly false or patently ridiculous "analysis."

We've somehow gotten away from merchants and farmers taking time from their pursuits to help guide our country.  These people understand the complexity of working under the current tapestry of regulations while still making payroll and raising a family.  Instead, we've moved into an era of career politicians who manipulate us into continually re-electing them while they accrue power unto themselves.  Unless we wake up, I'm afraid that we may one day no longer be the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.