Here on the Coastside, we will not be having a public fireworks display this year due to lack of funding. Don’t worry, we will still have plenty of flash and dazzle to enjoy, thanks to the least likely branch of government to set off fireworks, the Supreme Court, which last week narrowly upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Depending on one’s political bent, the decision either:

tAllows the federal government to remove your kidneys against your will and sell them as pet food to countries that sponsor terrorism, or;

tAllows all Americans to visit CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta whenever they please and force him to prescribe whatever drugs they just heard about during a commercial break while watching “Celebrity Bowling.”

Like so many current issues, the health care reform law is a litmus test — you’re either wildly in favor of it or unalterably opposed to it. However, there is one thing we can all agree on: nearly nobody has actually read it. The same is true for most other touchstone issues. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’  “Fast, Furious and Pretty Much Stupid” program, is, as of this writing, something most of us know very little about. However, that is no roadblock to our leaping to passionately held conclusions, such as:

tThis was a scheme to destroy the Second Amendment by making automatic weapons readily available elsewhere, through methods not yet explained, and, perhaps, ultimately unexplainable;

tThis was a scheme to make life in Mexico so fraught with danger that all law-abiding Mexicans would move to the United States, illegally register to vote, and, of course, vote for President Barack Obama to get health care;

tAttorney General Eric Holder is the Antichrist.

(For those reading Quip Tide for college credit, “Fast and Furious” had something to do with defeating Mexican drug cartels by selling them powerful automatic weapons and hoping that those weapons would lead us directly to the kingpins, through something resembling the “honor system.” It was an updated version of the Contra scandal during the 1980s, in which we sold weapons to our BFFs in Iran and funneled the money to the Contra insurgents in Nicaragua.)

You can substitute any hot issue into this recipe, and get the same, polarized flavor. The Wall Street reforms are either utterly ineffective and require a citizens’ uprising, or are class warfare. Maybe both. The recent Executive Order that, in effect, puts part of the “Dream Act” into effect is either long overdue or a shameless ploy to pander to Latino voters. (Thus far the Romney camp hasn’t endorsed a different immigration plan, but promises a “permanent solution” to our leaky immigration system. That promise should probably be reworded before the election, under the circumstances.)

With our Independence Day here again, let’s tune out the voices in the 24/7 bombast cycle for just one day, and recall those, who in 1776, bravely signed their names and stated to the world, “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” hopes that we remember why we have parades, and even fireworks in some locales on the Fourth of July.

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