Thursday, July 14, 2011

Belated Happy 4th of July

Boat at Honolulu Bay
The state of Minnesota continues with a budget impasse, which  has shut down many state supported functions, such as parks, licensing, etc..  This may be  foreshadowing of things to come at the national level.

This year on July 4th the United States celebrated its 235th birthday.  While this democracy has been held up as a shining model by many around the world, it is endangered as never before.  Consider:

  • The growing gap between the "haves" and "have nots"
  • Strident politicians who are more concerned about their votes and satisfying lobbyist and special interests than compromising for the common good
  • Limited awareness and slow response to global climate change (think droughts, floods, etc.)
  • Outsourcing of jobs to other countries, resulting in a dearth of entry level and well paying lower skilled positions (A growing number of homeless in America are also the working poor)
  • Vast numbers of Americans living well beyond their means and not saving for the future
  • Enormous national debt, beyond 14 trillion dollars, raising a possibility of downgrading the country's longstanding Aaa bond rating
  • Politicians spending greater energy and hours seeking campaign dollars than attending to the interests of their constituents; hence not willing to raise taxes and decrease spending
  • Military spending of $680 billion that far surpasses any other nation.
  • Distracted voters who have diminishing trust and participation in the democratic process
  • Honolulu Bay
  • Growing intolerance of immigrants
Yet despite these many challenges America is a land of great diversity and continues to benefit from the influx of hard working immigrants.  We have a great system of schools and institutions of higher education.  The USA allows for free association and debates about politics and religion.  There is still much to be appreciative of the United States of America.  Yet, much work needs to be done to right the course.

Happy 135th Birthday USA, with hopes that this year will be a better one than the last!
Pictures of fireworks were from over Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.  I had my camera and tripod set up over the downtown Honolulu beach, along with many others, and the fireworks went off on the Waikiki side.  I had to readjust ;-)








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