From the Land of the Free

I’ve been offline for a day or two, visiting family in South Dakota for Independence Day. (Or “Independence” Day as CNN would have it.)

We had a big group: three of my kids, a daughter-in-law, two grandchildren, a fiance and a boyfriend. This year, more than ever, it was good to spend the 4th in a land of freedom and unabashed patriotism. South Dakota was in the news, too, with President Trump’s terrific speech at Mount Rushmore. The press tried to spin the speech as “dark,” but everyone we talked to here liked it, when they weren’t too busy setting off fireworks to comment.

There is a big recreational lake a few miles from my home town, where I spent summers growing up. We had dinner at a nice restaurant (excellent meats) there Friday night. There, and most places, we saw flags. The flag-to-mask ratio was huge:

My home town has a surprisingly good zoo. Unfortunately, my pictures didn’t do it justice. This is a jaguar:

We visited my 98-year-old father, the main purpose of our trip, and then shopped for fireworks at what must be the country’s biggest fireworks emporium:

You push a shopping cart up and down the aisles and select from a vast array of explosives. For a few hundred dollars, you can put on a display roughly equivalent to what a town would do. And many people do. As it turned out, with several of us shopping separately, we wound up with more fireworks than we had time to detonate, and had to save some for next year. Almost everything we bought would be illegal in Minnesota. (As a clerk at the drive-through window of a liquor store in South Dakota once put it, everything is illegal in Minnesota.)

Then it was back to the lake, where one of my brothers lives, for a pontoon boat ride, dinner and fireworks. My granddaughter with a sparkler:

Fireworks are hard to photograph, but this is a fountain that shot colored sparks eight feet or so in the air:

Neighbors on both sides shot off lots of fireworks, and we had, among other things, a 24-shot reloadable mortar. All around the lake, you could see fireworks exploding in the sky. Again, impossible to photograph, but here is an attempt:

A lot of people are leaving blue states, both to escape from their oppressive conformity and to seek better job and investment opportunities. If you are in that category, South Dakota is an option you should consider.

By the way, I will be interviewing South Dakota’s Governor, Kristi Noem, in a webinar on Wednesday that will focus mostly on her administration’s freedom-based (and highly successful) approach to the COVID epidemic. But I also will ask her about the President’s appearance in South Dakota, where she also spoke, and about liberals’ threats to destroy or deface Mount Rushmore. If you are interested, you can register here.

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