Saturday, August 13, 2005


Originally posted around July 4.

I went out shopping today in the Jackson Creek strip mall a few blocks from my house. Every June-July a space there is rented to fire-works sellers. This year as the kids are getting older I've decided to move up a bit and get Roman candles and "artillery shells" as well the usual firecrackers, sparklers, fountains, and so on. In Indiana, that meant I had to sign certain special pieces of paper work, but still I am always grateful that I can get these things at all. In Massachusetts where I grew up, fireworks are pretty much all illegal except for professionals; you have drive north up to New Hampshire to get them. Of course, older kids always had firecrackers and sometimes sparklers.

It's strangely appropriate that it is the holiday that is supposed to celebrate liberty in America that is most threatened by nanny-state rules and regulations. Early in July we all get a little lesson that could not be better if it came straight from de Tocqueville about what really threatens liberty: "an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure the people's gratifications and to watch over their fate . . . absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild."

Originally posted at Here We Stand