Rantings & Ravings™

(of a Deranged Mind...)

Monday, July 05, 2004

The Fleecing of America Continues...

Happy Birthday America. Once again, we have the opportunity to celebrate the many freedoms we enjoy as citizens of this proud nation. Apparently, one freedom we do not enjoy is the right to freely celebrate our independence.
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Having recently moved to Glendale,CA from the east coast, I perused the local papers to see where our 4th of July firework celebration would be held. Nothing! Glendale was not even going to celebrate Independence Day! This, it turns out, is not the exception but the norm here in southern California. Our fourth of July festivities have been commercialized into a pay-per-view event. Shame on all those towns who didn't even bother to host a fireworks show. Even worse, shame on those that did, but charged outrageous entrance and parking fees (Hollywood, Burbank, Pasadena, etc.). One by one, we are losing those things we once enjoyed for free while growing up in America. They are now being sold back to us as a commodity. American citizens are viewed by their own government as nothing more than potential customers - sources of additional revenue. As if we don't pay enough in taxes to expect the proper respect to be paid to those who gave their lives for this country's freedom. If anything should be provided for free in this country, it should be our own Independence Day fireworks celebrations.

This despicable trend started rather innocuously, with our local towns arguing that fireworks were so dangerous. If we would be willing to "leave it to the professionals", they in turn, would stage safe and free fireworks displays for all to see. Now that the private use of fireworks has been repressed and made illegal almost everywhere in the US, our wonderful towns have decided they can now safely begin charging us to celebrate our own American birthright. This practice must end!

There was, however, a single ray of light this July 4th, from which all towns in this country could learn an enormous lesson. This years Macy's/New York City fireworks spectacular was truly that. An amazing show which had even the most jaded of New Yorkers "oohing” and “aahing" as if they were kids again, with expressions of wonderment on their faces, as the glow of the fireworks sparkled in their eyes. The combination of awesome pyrotechnics and patriotic music provoked a genuine feeling of love of country and of fellow Americans. It was a magical, priceless moment. It concluded with a standing ovation by thousands of appreciative fans. Macy's had fired off over 36,000 shells FOR FREE! The combined total for all of Los Angeles county's ticket-only events didn't even come close to that number. Southern Californian towns should be both humbled and ashamed! At least one company and one proud city thinks Americans deserve better on their birthday. Well done Macy's, well done New York!

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Paul M


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