This is really FREE speech!
Volume 1 #1 July 5, 1999
So, this is the Independence Day weekend! On July 4, 1776 our esteemed forefathers bravely signed the Declaration of Independence. They were so hyped up declaring independence that they demanded that their slaves prepare a 12 course meal in honor of the deed. There is a rumor the mint juleps may have contained ground glass. Well, I opened my prewar dictionary (actually, it is pre Korean "conflict" where hundreds of thousands suffered and died, once again, in the name of peace) and found the definition of independence: "The state or quality of being independent; freedom from the influence, control or determination of another or others." Do you feel independent? Tear yourselves away from the old Bar-B-Q and beer and read this.
Excuse me, I'm so independent, I had to interrupt this writing to prepare my significant other's lunch.
The question is still the same. Do you feel independent?? Or, even more precisely, are any of us truly independent? Even the rich and famous mucky-mucks are dependent on the power that their money exudes. They are the most dependent. For example: they have brokers, accountants, lobbyists, people who handle their tax dodges and bribes to politicians. Their greatest dependence is on fear. The fear of us real folks getting a crack at their money. Ah, but there in lies another column. By the way, even you wealthy ones are welcome to step on the BOX and vent. This is an equal opportunity venue. Now, that I've gotten you all fired up over the "Money Doesn't Buy Happiness" scam, let's go at it. Can you live anywhere you want to? I heard that resounding NO!! Your kids, of course, are getting the best education you can afford. You do what you can with what you've got. Not knockin' it but it comes back to that independent thing. INSURANCE: Can't drive without it. In the twenties, they dubbed it extortion. Now, it's legal extortion. You are not even allowed to die without it. Let us stay with this legal extortion racket. HEALTH CARE: HMO, PPO, what the deuce does that mean? Answer: less care and more confusion. GETTING A JOB: Especially your first. For many, mostly women, getting back into the workplace while your husband is going through his "pie are squared" childhood. The former is what he wanted, you hope the latter is what he got. "Got any experience?", the interviewer with the intimidating grin that much resembles a death grimace asks. You quiver, you say with all the gumption you can muster: Welll, I've never had a job before or I was busy raising a family for 20 years. The grimaced one might as well tattoo you "unfit to breathe". And the justification words are "come back when you have experience". You leave dragging your last hopes and tail between your legs. INTERJECTION: I am not a man basher, it's just that statistics bear me out. TRAVEL: Where can you afford to go unless they have an airline fare war. MOVIES: Ticket prices too high, C'est la vie! Off to the video store with coupon in hand. Everything you dreamed of renting is checked out. You settle for a scuzzy Wings Hauser flick. BUYING GROCERIES: New and improved, no salt added, lower in fat. Translation: Take it out, lower it equals raise price. There are unending accounts remaining but I must depart once again and exert my independence. It's time for dinner! 'Til next week, keep those gripes coming. Happy Dependence Day!
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