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Yes, I know, it’s Thursday and all of you were fully expecting the next installment of the ongoing Star Trek story.  As usual (am I getting predictable?), I have decided to veer off because of a holiday.

I guess that goes to the heart of my philosophy of blogging.  I view blogging as an intellectual Route 66.  I am generally on a path (Chicago to LA for the actual Route 66, describing my journey as a writer on my metaphorical Route 66 blog), but I will occasionally stop to look at a giant dinosaur statue or other unusual item that crosses my path.  One of those things that makes me stop and look is a holiday.

July 4th, 2013 marks the 237th anniversary of the United States of America declaring its independence from the British Crown.  For better or worse, love it or hate it, this action has influenced the modern world like no other decision since.    The existence of this nation has given hope to millions (perhaps billions) of people and has earned the ire of millions (perhaps billions) of others.

At the time, the men who took these actions knew that the consequences of their actions would be felt far and wide.  I don’t think any of them realized that from the early part of the 20th century, the nation they founded would play a more significant role in the world than any other nation on earth.  Go ahead, my British friends, and claim that the British Empire was still a power in the early 20th century.  The simple fact is that from WWI through today, nobody has had the global impact (for better or for worse) that the United States has had.

Happy Birthday, United States of America.  (I must admit that it strikes me as odd that we celebrate the birthday of a government that collapsed in around a decade instead of celebrating the birth of the U.S. government that has run continuously since 1789, but that’s a whole ‘nother rant)