Opinion: Happy Birthday, America

This weekend our great country, our homeland is celebrating its 244th year of greatness. Because of the current difficulties, this should be the most sedate Independence Day seen in recent years with the population sheltering in place. I fear it will be another weekend of horror.

It is a safe bet that local law enforcement will be patrolling, looking for people driving while under the influence. A spot in the county jail is a lousy way to spend your weekend. And let me mention the cost to fight a DUI is more than $10,000. Sleep in the backseat of your car if you have to, because if you are found sitting in the driver’s seat with the key in the ignition, your goose is cooked.

I am fortunate enough to be on a first name basis with both Madera Police Chief Dino Lawson and Sheriff Tyson Pogue. One of their top priorities this weekend will be to get drunk drivers off the road.

Since there are no public fireworks display in Madera, I’m afraid the fires caused by legal and illegal fireworks could be severe. Keep your eyes open and your fur babies secure.

My headline this week says HBD America. I enjoy using odd spellings for some of my words. It is not in accordance with the Associated Press style book that newspapers use as a guild to develop uniformity in the stories we write. As an example, when on Facebook and a friend has a birthday, I wish them an HBD. I know that birth and day are two separate words, but that is just the FB style I have developed over the years. Another quirk I subscribe to is always to spell the gratitude word as Thanx.

I use thanx because I have an X in my last name. The letters Q, X and Z just strike me as cool letters, probably because they are so rarely used. As you may know, my mom’s name started with a Q. I have the X in my married name and when I see a friend named Irwin Zigmond, and especially his son Zachary Zigmond, I am apt to make snoring noises. It is a joke and they both know and appreciate it.

Once upon a time friends of different ethnic groups could make jokes and the other person didn’t get all bent out of shape about it. The fact that my friend Zigmond is Jewish never entered into it.

America and Democracy were the greatest social experiment ever tried. The idea that people could govern themselves was all but unheard of in 1776.

We broke away from Mother England, fought the revolutionary war and finally became the United States of America comprised of 50 states.

Many people have a trip to all 50 states on their bucket list. By bucket list, I mean things they hope to do before they kick the bucket. I wouldn’t travel to Europe or Asia until I have seen every state in the union. Those would be glorious trips. And they are on my bucket list.

Growing up, we had farm animals so my family never went on vacations. I didn’t visit Disneyland until after I was married.

We would occasionally ask our neighbor to feed the cows, rabbits and chickens to go see my uncle and aunt for Christmas in Tulare. One year, the Madera Kirks surprised our Tulare Kirks on Christmas Eve. We showed up uninvited on their porch singing Christmas Carols. They said they were delighted to see us, but I can’t help but wonder. I would freak out if a dozen people showed up at my door on Christmas Eve.

America is a place where every person is valued and can do almost any thing as long as it doesn’t harm another person. That is a freedom so precious that anybody who abuses it, as we have seen in recent weeks, should be punished to the fullest extent the law allows.

Maybe we should arm law enforcement officers with paintball guns. Any one caught defacing public or private property could be shot with it. Paint balls hurt as anyone who has played that game will testify. The paint is also hard to wash off. Not only would a vandal be stopped, they will be marked for easy arrest. However, no one is asking me for my advice.

I am proud to be an American and every day I pray for a miracle that will restore our precious country.

It will take a miracle to heal the damage inflicted on our country from the lawlessness that is running rampant in the streets.

Kids like to play a game on Facebook called “Never Have I Ever.” The last words in the phrase could be “drank a beer,” “smoked a cigarette,” or something similar. To build on that premise, never have I ever dreamed these things could happen in America, or for that matter, the world. People tend to look for someone to blame for their misfortunes. The confluence of factors that has created the country we are living in right now is just too extensive and convenient to have happened by accident. I am usually up for a good conspiracy theory.

I can’t help but wonder since President Trump inherited all this racism when he became president, why didn’t President Obama fire Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben when he had the chance?

I appreciate the social media that is Facebook. Without it I would have no idea how my friends and family are coping with COVID-19, or anything else for that matter.

Have a blessed and safe holiday weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing tamijonix@gmail.com or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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