Happy Birthday America!: Go Watch Hancock and Gorge on Hotdogs

On this nation’s birthday the headlines in NJ’s Daily Record are on a Chatham High School (which is a relatively wealthy NJ town) reunion and a school district that misspent $900,000 thousand dollars. Nice. There’s also the ad for Hancock, but nothing of the most important issues this country is facing.

On the inside page we have an image of an Afghan boy bringing firewood home to his family in a story about the troops being ordered to stay there. Just underneath this we have the oh so important hot dog eating contest. In my mind this gorge fest is nothing more than a statement on gluttony in America. While others starve around the world we have so much food that we can hold contests to see who can eat the most.

Unless you work in a retail store which believes that everyday is a good day for profit you probably got to stay home today. Since I’m off today I was able to have a nice breakfast with the traditional newspaper read, but the newspaper was a little depressing.

Someone posted an opinion piece in the Daily Record titled “Happy Birthday” today which quoted John Adams as saying:

“I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than the means.”

I posted the following comment:

Let’s also remember that John Adams passed the Alien and Sedition act of 1798 because he didn’t like what was being written about him. Today this type of act would clearly be seen as contrary to the First Amendment. My point in writing this here is that we must remember everything is not black and white and we must push forward with diligence both in understanding history and making sure that we have sense and compassion in our thoughts and actions.

Let us not forget those who lost their freedoms and life in order for us to have all these great things in this country. We changed this land for ourselves and for those that were here before us.

I’d also like to add a comment about the “sales” and open businesses on this holiday: Today is a great day for those of us who can get together with our families and friends, but for many who work in retail (thanks to those that shop today) it’s just another day at work. This shouldn’t be.

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