The 241st year of the American experiment commenced on a uncomfortably humid but otherwise mostly inviting sunny afternoon on our part of the Great Plains, and all in all it was pretty good day. The recent torrential and street-flooding rains had temporarily ceased, allowing all the neighborhood kids to shoot off their Independence Day fireworks without worry about grassfires and us to charcoal some burgers and catfish while consuming an al fresco beer on the back yard grill with a similar insouciance, and the old folks’ station on our drive around town was playing patriotic favorites by everyone from Kate Smith and Frank Sinatra to Chuck Berry and Ray Charles, and Netflix was full of patriotic fare, and despite the noticeable lack of the usual Fourth of July parties there was a comfortably familiar American feel to it all.
Still, we’ll commence the first four-day workweek of the 241st year of the American experiment with a certain uneasiness about the prospects of the whole project. As we write this our most up-to-date news sources still report no significant terrorist attacks on American soil, which allays an anxiety we’ve been feeling on every national and religious holiday since that perfectly climatic day around here on September 11, 2001, and we begrudgingly congratulate our current administration on that achievement. Had there been another of those Islamist attacks that have lately occurred in Turkey and Saudi Arabia and Belgium and Bangladesh and Florida we’re sure the Democratic administration would be taking the usual pains to deny it had anything to Islam and that the Democratic party’s would-be-successors would be making the same implausible claims, but the presumptive Republican nominee’s “Bush lied, people died” and “bomb the sh*t out of ’em” and “take their oil” foreign policy isn’t in the least bit more reassuring. Neither party allays a nagging sense that the the country’s decline into utterly stupid foreign and domestic policy won’t continue afoot, so we’ll start Tuesday’s beginning of the shortened workweek with a renewed resolve to do better.
Here on our portion of the Great Plains of America we’re still at least above water, so we’ll start this shortened workweek by trying to maintain that for ourselves and doing our very best for the rest of you. If we all do our part there might better Independence Days ahead no matter what the major parties put up for our leadership.
— Bud Norman