UnNews:Independence Day celebrated locally

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4 July 2010

A patriotic driver salutes the flag during the Independence Day celebrations.

NEW LONDON, New Hampshire -- Patriotic citizens of this northeastern U.S. state commemorated the anniversary of the nation's independence in traditional ways, gathering to celebrate liberty with fireworks shows, in which licensed, unionized government workers ignite displays that ordinary people aren't allowed to.

The shows commemorate a military victory--although both the military and victory are now viewed as anachronisms--and are accompanied by overconsumption of patriotic beverages, such as Samuel Adams, which locals also do every other weekend.

But many tried to politicize the event. A frequent theme on backyard patios was the repeal of President Obama's health-care reform. In contrast, a voter named Millie, tracked down at a union hall, said, "We can't turn back the clock to the days when no one had 'coverage.' What do they want to do, bring back polio?"

Happily, the opposition party, whose name could not be determined, has tired of talk of repeal, and is focusing instead on winning a seat at the table with the grown-ups, as Mr. Obama's attention turns from using the tax code to solve Americans' desire for too much medical care, to using the tax code to solve the desire for too much banking, energy, and skilled, native labor. The minority hopes to stick loot and favors for its own constituencies inside a future unreadable 2000-page bill, faster than the more numerous Democrats can, and thus win elections this November. Third time's a charm.

Local issues were also hot at backyard barbecues. Some citizens discussed the case of two high-school seniors--not their brutal rape and murder of a fellow student, but the fact that their photos were included in the school yearbook, as they had not been found guilty by press time. A carpenter named Floyd said the decision showed that school administration had the wrong values, namely, not his own. "That's what's wrong with this country!" However, his cousin Jack disagreed. "It's the First Amendment, free speech! So, shaddap!"

The hostess would defuse tempers by turning the conversation back to the day's theme. "Have another drink," she said.

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