Saturday, July 02, 2005

Baker's Dozen (tm): Celebrate a Safe 4th

A Baker’s Dozen ™ Citizen’s Guide to Celebrating the Fourth of July (2005)

As we celebrate our Nation’s 229th Birthday, please have a safe and sane holiday. Some tips for observing this holiday:

1. Celebrate our nation’s birthday in a safe manner. Observe the official fireworks put on by your local authorities and do not allow your children or others to use fireworks, which are unsafe, prone to injure them and others, likely to cause wildfires, and often a nuisance to your neighbors. (Please report illegal fireworks at once to your local law enforcement agency or call 1-888-ATF-BOMB to report to the BATFE.)

2. Drive to your celebration safely. Make sure you wear your seatbelts, have all the children in government-approved child safety seats, have all your forms and travel papers (drivers license, car registration, auto insurance, health insurance) in order, don’t drink and drive, don’t smoke and drive, and don’t talk on your cell phone and drive. And please be polite to the police officers at all the checkpoints: they are doing this for your safety and protection.

3. Don’t drink too much; especially not if you are driving, boating, walking, watching a parade, riding a horse, or anything else for which (for your own safety and that of others) you may have to be detained by police.

4. Don’t frown or stare at people, no matter what they are doing or wearing (or not wearing). Remember, staring at unclothed or partially clothed people is sexual harassment, and frowning may be seen as anti-social and racist or bigoted in some way.

5. Don’t talk politics at Fourth of July events – this may get people angry, especially if you talk about independence, liberty, freedom, and other words banned by Microsoft in China.

6. Don’t pray or talk religion at Fourth of July events – especially on public property, including streets and road rights-of-way, fairgrounds, parks, and national forest and park lands. This is probably violating regulations and court decisions, and may get people angry and embarrassed.

7. Do not use firearms in any way to celebrate the Fourth. Not only is this dangerous and illegal in most (well, all sane) places, but can scare and scar children and sensitive people for life, both mentally and emotionally.

8. Do nothing which will damage the natural environment: do not use charcoal or wood fires which create excessive smoke, do not use ATVs or 4WD vehicles, do not use perfumed sunscreen or bug spray. These all create damage to the soil, vegetation, wildlife, and people sensitive to odors, smoke, and other environmental pollutants.

9. Always only attend publicly-sponsored and government-approved events, where safety, security, and law enforcement are strictly controlled. There is safety in numbers, as long as there is enough security around. Even when not having fun, pretend to, so that you will not harm people’s self-image because they think you don’t like being around them.

10. Remember to protect yourself from common threats and injuries. Use sunscreen and bug-spray (as approved by government agencies) to protect yourself from sunburn, West Nile virus, bird flu, heat stroke, etc. Purchase food, drink, and souvenirs only from properly licensed and government-approved vendors: otherwise you may fail to pay the proper amount of taxes, you may get food poisoning, sickness from undercooked meat, or drink contaminated water, and you may buy items which are not properly child-safe.

11. Do not attempt to physically restrain children (including teenagers and all persons below legal drinking age) from doing anything, even if their actions may be seen as anti-social or threatening: you will be violating child-protection laws, may be performing an act of sexual predation, or breaking other local, state, and federal laws. Instead, call for police officers to properly detain and remove the out-of-control child.

12. Avoid any kind of entertainments which may be illegal in your jurisdiction. Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse: you must be aware of all restrictions. Common ones to avoid: animal fights (including cock fights), open containers and excessive drinking, smoking in “no-smoking” zones, loud music from boom-boxes or automobiles, low-riding, sun-bathing in restricted zones, playing in water sprinklers on a no-watering day, use of paintball guns, spray string, skateboards, in-line skates, and other restricted items.

13. Remember how grateful you should be to those who won and keep this nation in existence and protect us from dangers and evil: be sure and tell law enforcement officers and other government employees how much you appreciate their selfless dedication and efforts to protect and serve the public.

Although Baker’s Dozen Tips are usually serious, I hope that by now, all readers will see that this is satire and NOT to be taken seriously. If you are upset by this, please, immediately contact a local liberty-lovers group and join their efforts to properly honor our nation’s efforts for both freedom and liberty for our ancestors, ourselves, and our posterity.

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