While most of us will be celebrating Independence Day with picnics, fireworks and parties on July 4th as we have done most of the time for the last 235 years, we really need to stop and consider the health of this country today.

This country was an infant through its first 74 years or so and then finally fought a bitter puberty at its 84th year that lasted five long bloody years only concluding with a surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

We continued through our young adulthood and new challenges in the face of a new world by the time we reached our 141st birthday, we found ourselves fighting in a new World War. Most people are not aware of this but the original first modern world war was an outgrowth of the French-Indian war and encompassed several countries in several wars through the 1700s.

We believed we finally reached peace by our 142nd birthday but 11 years later found us in a Great Depression and two years past our 150th birthday we entered the ultimate fight for freedom against the Axis powers who were seeking revenge for World War I and world domination. By our 170th Birthday we reached maturity and were doing well for several years.

Our midlife crisis came soon after our 187th year as assassination robbed this country of a the last independent thinking leader and created the environment for the terminal illness we are now facing. Since the great socialization of this country through the 1960s, this country has lost many of the freedoms that created the pioneering spirit of our youth. We are floundering in our own age and instead of looking for rebirth the disease infecting this country wants to kill it. That disease is corruption of power from the state level to the Federal level.

Up to the 1960s, we were a country of independent individuals who championed competition and hard work and believed in the American Dream that our future generations would be better than ours. We believed in freedom and we knew the price it brought to us. We stood up for ourselves and fought for what we wanted and cherished what we achieved.

President John F. Kennedy's speech summed up this American spirit quite succinctly, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." While his private life left much to be desired, many believed Kennedy's service represented some of the best ideals this country had to offer. When he was struck down in November 1963, we lost this pillar to a corrupt vice president who dragged us into an escalated Vietnam War and dropping us at the doorstep of power brokers who have run this country ever since.

Now we seem to be in our old age, the very corruption our forefathers fought against has reared its ugly head in the leadership of this country. The patriots who brought forth this infant nation took the brave, treasonous stand against illegal searches and seizures, against military occupation of homes and businesses, against taxes that were unfair, unrepresentative and punitive, against censorship, against disarmament, unfair imprisonment, and micromanagement.

Scary isn't it? Every one of those values John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and 53 other signers protested with the Declaration of Independence has been compromised by a corrupt behemoth Federal government which has infiltrated its tentacles throughout every aspect of American life with graft, regulation and taxation.

Don't be deluded by their doublespeak. George Orwell pegged our society's future over 60 years ago when he penned 1984. He was only off by a generation or so. This country's freedom of choice of its leaders is an illusion. We don't pick our candidates for office. A group of power mongers in a back room of a convention hall pick their candidates every four years and there is not two parties but one group of control freaks.

I have to shrug and shake my head in disbelief whenever someone attacks or defends the Republican this or the Democratic that. When will we wake up?

There are not two parties. There are two sets of power brokers that play games with the heads of the people in this country to keep them at odds so they can continue to legally pillage through governmental bullying and regulation.

If you don't believe me, take a look at the Obama administration. Not the figurehead in the White House but his counselors and advisers. Then take a look at who was in the Clinton White House.

For kicks, check out the Carter White House and the Johnson White House. You will find a nice neat little trail of powerbrokers repeatedly trading positions around Washington.

The Republicans are as guilty. Look at the two Bush White Houses, the Reagan White House and the Nixon and Ford administrations.

We have not elected a fresh leader in over 90 years. The same core group runs the White House, makes millions of dollars through back room deals, packed the courts and sucked the freedom and liberty right out from under us. They are dumbing down our children by not funding education like it once was which will make them easier to control ultimately. They continually try to concoct ways to abridge our right to arm ourselves. We are molested at airports because of a fear placed into us after 9/11 because those protecting us didn't do their jobs ahead of time and possibly could have prevented the attacks.

Secularism has attacked religious freedom so thoroughly that religion has become a dirty word. We won't even talk about the treason that is occurring by not securing our borders and allowing our enemies to flow in and out of this country unchecked.

Two days from now as we sit around celebrating our so-called freedoms, think hard about the men and women who died for us and ask yourself, are we insulting their sacrifice by allowing this erosion of our founding principles to continue? When will we truly reclaim our birthright and be free again?

It's not the responsibility of the person next to you. It's yours and mine.