BY ROHN BISHOP
Ugh! January 2, the worst day of the year!
As a Wisconsinite I have always disliked the long winter grind from January 2 to about mid May. It just feels like spring never really comes to Wisconsin, and it’s cold, dark, and there isn’t a whole lot to do outside. I’m even one who likes the winter season, but by the time Valentine’s Day passes I’m starting to get sick of winter. You know, the grey skies, cold weather, and short day light hours, which isn’t made any more palatable knowing that our spring’s here are usually cold and wet.
Thankfully there are some good distractions during this 5 month long wait until nice weather. The football postseason and Super Bowl, along with the NCAA March Madness and baseball’s Spring Training are nice distractions from the fact it’s cold, dark, snowing, and wet outside, but those events don’t particularly help the ‘cabin fever.’
Thank goodness we have those three day weekends to break up the grind.
What family doesn’t wake up every year on Martin Luther King Day full of anticipation? You’ll go outside and sing Civil Rights chants, and to honor the Reverend Sharpton you chant through a bull horn. Some popular slogans are “No Justice No Peace!” and “Hands up Don’t Shoot!”
Good times, good times! Ah, that 3-Day weekend is just what everyone needs to break up January.
Then there is February. Most people can’t wait for Presidents’ Day! Oh, I don’t know about you, but on Presidents’ Day, I fly an extra large American Flag. Then the neighbor kids come over and I read them tales of President’s that have passed. Those sweet kids, their eyes always get wide with excitement as I tell them that Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, that Gerald Ford fell out of Air Force One, or that Benjamin Harrison also served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court!
Like you, I love those long weekends!
Wait, what’d you say?…What’s that?…You don’t get off work for King Day or President’s Day? Really?! Well you go exploring on Christopher Columbus Day, right? NO?!?!
You don’t get paid time off to celebrate these major American holidays? Your kid’s schools are open too?!?!
What’s your point?
Alright, I’ll admit I’m being a little over the top and obnoxious as I make fun of these “second tier” holidays, but I do so to drive to a larger point. There are four days a year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Columbus Day, and Veteran’s Day. All four of these days honor folks who deserve honoring, but why do we honor these people by giving overpaid government bureaucrats another paid day off?
Martin Luther King Day
The first comes the third Monday in January, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Made a holiday by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, it was first observed in 1986, and has mostly been ignored since. In fact only about 30% of non federal government employees receive a paid day off.
King Day is a more meaningful holiday to African-Americans, and for good reason. Unlike the race baiting clowns of today (Sharpton and Jackson) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a peaceful struggle for Civil Rights, exposing Americans to the racial bigotry tolerated in southern states. Dr. King helped to destroyed Jim Crow laws, and delivered one of the most eloquent speeches in America’s history, his “I have a dream” speech.
I usually listen to his “I have a dream” speech every year on his holiday. His call to judge people on the content of their charter and not the color of their skin is a goal that should have been reached by now. Unfortunately in our politically correct culture, it seems we worry more about one’s skin color more than any other feature one may have.
American’s should learn about Dr. King and honor him on his day, but instead of closing the post office, and giving inner city under educated black kids another day off, why not open up inner city schools and educate America’s black kids to the message of Dr. King?
The cause of civil rights has turned into a profitable business for the race–baiting, lying, tax cheat, the Reverend Al Sharpton. Now, more than ever, it’s important that Americans learn about Dr. King’s message of racial peace, and reject the raciest hate of Sharpton.
Presidents’ Day is even more ignored than King Day, and if it wasn’t for the annoyance of not having mail delivered, I don’t know if anyone would even know it’s actually President’s Day.
President’s Day originates from Washington’s Birthday, first declared a federal holiday by an 1879 act of Congress. The Uniform Holiday Acts of 1968 shifted the date of the commemoration of Washington’s Birthday from February 22 to the third Monday in February, and when combined with the fact that President Lincoln’s birthday falls on February 12, many people now refer to this holiday as “President’s Day” and consider it a day honoring all American presidents. Legally the holiday is still known as Washington’s Birthday.
Again, America’s President’s deserve a day of honor, but instead of closing the post office and giving congressional staff a paid day off, why not designate it a day for American schools to teach our youth about the 43 men who have led our country, and how each president shaped America in their own way.
Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and discovered America. We rightfully honor Mr. Columbus’ bravery and discovery with a holiday in his honor. Unfortunately Columbus Day has waned in popularity over the years, as Mr. Columbus is under attack by liberals whom seem to hate him, even going as far to rename the day “Indigenous People’s Day” in parts of California and Minnesota.
Like the previous second tier holidays, I believe Columbus Day should be a day set aside to remember the brave journey of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, not to close the post office or give a government nurse, “time and a half.”
And let’s stop with the “Indigenous People’s Day”! Columbus’ brave mission deserves a day of honor, besides; we already honor indigenous people with the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians!
Originally known as Armistice Day, Veteran’s Day honors all veterans of the United States armed forces, it’s observed on November 11 to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918.
For the most part Veteran’s Day is celebrated just the way it should be. Most of our schools hold special Veteran’s Day celebrations where our youth learn the importance of veterans and their sacrifice for our country and our freedom’s.
Most every community has a celebration of Veteran’s at about 11am, where many citizens pause and take a moment to honor veteran’s of this great nation.
A co-worker of mine, and an Air Force vet, jokes that “On Veterans Day, the only people who have to work are veterans!” If you’re a veteran in the private sector you probably do have to work on November 11.
Personally I think it’s an insult to working class veterans that have to work Veteran’s Day, so their taxes can pay for a non-veteran, public sector hack at the EPA to stay home.
Just open up the government
Many of you, especially liberals, got all pissed off in 2013 when the GOP led congress shut down the government in a dispute with President Obama. You liberals were so hysterical over the shutdown you made people wonder if our society could survive a government shutdown! Senator Elisabeth Warren of Massachusetts went so far as to declare that with a government shutdown “we’d prevent food inspections, allow lead into children’s toys manufactured in China, and deform babies through their mothers’ use of unsafe morning sickness pills.”
Yet we shut the government down unnecessarily four times a year. (And amazingly our society seem to survive).
This is wrong, especially when you consider most of us who pay for these government employees have to work these second tier holidays, and the nuisance of business operating a day without mail service.
Last year on these holidays I drove around Waupun to see how many people observe them. All schools, banks, city offices, and businesses were indeed open. The only “business” closed in Waupun was our Post Office, which hacked me off because I needed stamps and forgot it was President’s Day, until I got to the post office and it was locked up tight!
And we wonder why the post office losses billions every year.
Then, when you consider that most government entities now look at Black Friday, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve as a holidays, you realize that there are two America’s, there is the private sector America that works everyday to pay for all this, and there is the public sector, who seem to get an awful lot of time off.
Long ago American’s decided to mostly ignore these holidays, and treat them more like St. Patrick’s Day. So instead of giving federal government employees the day off, I think we should honor these days on our calendars, and promote education as to what the day’s mean.
Rohn W. Bishop is a monthly contributor to the Scene. Bishop is a former member of the Waupun City Council and currently serves as Treasurer for the Republican Party of Fond du Lac County.
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