Happy 5th of July

First, apologies for abandoning my post at such a key moment in the shutdown story. I had to fly back east to check on my mom. I’ll try to get back into the big story as soon as I can figure out what I missed.

Second, I have developed a small and probably annoying tradition of posting every year around the 4th of July a reminder that the historical importance of the events of July 4, 1776, have been greatly overstated by the fireworks industry and American culture in general.

July 4 was not the day the Continental Congress voted to become independent (that was July 2), nor was it the day the signers signed the declaration of Independence (they signed on many different days over a long period but most of them signed on Aug. 2). The significance of July 4 was only that that was the day the members adopted the final language of the official Declaration of Independence, which they had been editing.

If you want more details (including the wonderful letter from John Adams to Abigail, written July 3, predicting that July 2 “will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival”) they are summarized in this, the 2008 version, of this annual annoying post.

P.S. My wife and I enjoyed the neighborhood fireworks display last night and this is a great country (and a great neighborhood).

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Claire Lundgren on 07/05/2011 - 01:15 pm.

    I’m sorry to say that this 4th of July was too marred by the inactivity of our leaders to hold any joy for me. In addition to all the newly unemployed state workers, I am agrieved for all my friends in the horseracing industry who are on the verge of losing an entire industry due to an imperical judge who thinks the zoo, which receives some state funding, should be allowed to run, while the tracks, entirely self supporting and receiving no funding from the state, must remain closed. I bleed for the tourism industry that depends on the lakes and fishing, who lost business because no licenses could be sold. I am sorry for all the construction workers who are losing work because of not only government contracts, but loss of inspectors forcing job closures. I am mostly sad because a couple of people, who could not get their job done in 6 months time, were in a position to and able to wreak this much damage to so many in 5 days. Any additonal time they remain in office is too long and any monies they receive from the state in renumeration is too much. Pensions should be forfeited and the people shpuld be able to recall this handful of legislators for failure to accomplish the job they were entrusted to do.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/05/2011 - 02:36 pm.

    Claire–
    Do your homework instead of ranting.
    Minnesota does in fact have a method of recalling state legislators.
    See:
    http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/ss/ssrecall.htm
    I anticipate seeing you start the process.

  3. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/05/2011 - 02:39 pm.

    and, is this you?
    http://siteexec.aqha.com/magazines/aqhrj/content/2008content/08mayjune/lundgrens.pdf
    Seem to have a personal financial stake in the issue.

  4. Submitted by David Greene on 07/05/2011 - 03:23 pm.

    Claire, have you tried contacting the Republican caucus and asking them to compromise? The the only way the tracks are going to reopen.

  5. Submitted by Claire Lundgren on 07/05/2011 - 04:36 pm.

    Yes, Paul, that is me and I do have a personal interest in this issue. I have worked hard within our racing association as an officer to help promote the racing industry in Minnesota. We are now retired and no longer have a large stable. But the industry has grown in the state. I have watched the fledgling track work hard and seen breeders move in and start up farms that provide employment for thousnads all over the state. Hundreds of businesses all over Minnesota depend on income from the individual breeding and training farms. Next, we watched as the government allowed the indians to nearly wipe out the industry by opening a casino a couple miles down the road that actually ran shuttle buses from Canterbury’s parking lot! The latest economic impact study done indicates over $2 billion per year in economic activity in the equine industry in the state. If Canterbury and Running Aces fail to reopen, the horsemen will lose their only source of income in Minnesota and the horses will be moved to other states that support them. The industry will be gone. This isn’t a matter of holding on for a few weeks. This is the ONLY return on the investment and the horsemen have to be able to work during the short summer season. I don’t believe the taxpayers want to see a large employer that receives NO state subsidies wiped out by an accounting technicality forever. This is a critical function in the state and the state has no monetary investment to keep it running. The DFL has held us hostage because of donations to the political party for years. Now it’s a Judge who doesn’t see the picture and doesn’t understand how critical this is to a very fragile industry.

  6. Submitted by Dick Novack on 07/06/2011 - 11:30 pm.

    Simply add to make everything complete – there will be no food inspectors for the State Fair food vendors
    http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/07/06/deblog-could-the-shutdown-shut-down-state-fair-foods/#.ThS6KxhbwXc.tumblr

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