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Jul. 3rd, 2010 @ 11:55 pm Showing one's independence..
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Liberty: the quality or state of being free.

Tyranny: oppressive power, typically exerted by government.

I'll have more of the former, and far less of the latter, if you don't mind.

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When I think of Independence Day, I don't just think about the birth of the United States (important, to be sure), but I also think about how blessed I am to have been born on what I truly believe is the greatest country on the planet.

In our short history (234!) the United States has done so much in such a small period of time. Our armed forces have helped liberated millions, our willing generosity has enhanced the lives of millions more. Ours is still the only nation to have put footprints on the moon, brought technology down to the masses, and saved so many lives through life extending medicines and treatments.

To be sure, there are lots of haters out there who are a) jealous of our successes; b) upset by our occasional meddling on their efforts to expand their ideological empires on the unwilling; c) resentful that history unfolded the way that it did.

To such critics, I say "How sad, too bad, now how about a nice steaming cup of STFU?"

Forgive my crudeness, but I am tired of people feeling guilt for things that are beyond their control. Stop it already, and stop it right now. Sure, we're not perfect, but show me a country out there that has it better, done it better, and is, in fact far better than anything we hope to do in our life times. Do that, and I will help pack your bags so that you can catch the next flight out.

Warts and all, America is an awesome country. We're not just an experiment in mob rule with cookies. When it really, really matters, our citizenry comes together, gets it right, and puts the other countries to shame. While there is always room for improvement, at least the USA has mechanisms in place which allows for such.

The document which makes it all possible, the Constitution of the United States, should be heralded as one of the greatest writings of humanity. If we bothered to read it, understand it, and apply it on a regular basis, I suspect that we'd all be a lot better off for it.

God bless the French for backing our play all those centuries ago when it really mattered. I am sure that their ROI has been pretty good since then. And God bless mother England for getting over their mad on and becoming the closest of allies. Along with the rest of the English speaking nations, I'd say we've accomplished quite a lot together.

No apologizing for the blatant swagger in this post, especially on THIS weekend. I love my country, and I proudly wore her uniform for over 20 years of my life. This land I *will* defend, and for those forces (internal and external) that try to wrestle it away from us will find quite the spirited fight on their hands.

Feel free to enjoy the time off with family and friends, get that BBQ grill going, watch the fireworks, and salute the flag when you see the Honor Guards parade throughout the country. Just remember that over two centuries ago, 56 guys signed a piece of paper one hot muggy day that changed the world forever.

It would be nice if we remembered, if only for a moment, what the fuss was all about.
About this Entry
Bring It ON!
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From:ravenchilde_art
Date:July 4th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
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Course, there are also critics of this country who are D none of the above.

And I can show you several countries that do it better. Two of them that I come from being prime examples, one, having done it better, much longer.

I'm sure everyone is enjoying their flag waving today, but don't expect to throw out a challenge like that and not have it answered. :D

Course, what gets really tiresome is the 'If you don't like it here, leave' stance. #1 in this constitution of yours is the right to critique the nation as it stands, without censorship practising patriots telling folks to STFU. ^_~`
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From:myndcryme
Date:July 4th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
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Actually, you're halfway correct. It is your right to criticize the nation. It is also my right to call you an idiot.

And there's a huge difference between the right... who might tell you to be quiet when you're being inappropriate, and the left... who ceaselessly try to legislate it so they can shut down the voices of those they disagree with.

One leads to spirited debate which educates us about the people involved, the other leads to tyranny. I have a feeling that you'd be completely okay with a "STFU" if it was one you agreed with whole-heartedly.

Anyway, Happy Independence Day... I hope you can quell your nausea over being present here long enough to appreciate how great this country is.

- V -
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From:ravenchilde_art
Date:July 4th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
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I have a feeling that you'd be completely okay with a "STFU" if it was one you agreed with whole-heartedly.

Well, I guess you really ought not to trust your feeling then. Cause your jedi skills are failing you. :)

Cause you're wrong on both counts. I am not one for telling people to be quiet who disagree with me, nor am I nauseous over living here. I am disappointed over the fact that the US has a long long way to go to live up to its ideals, but hardly nauseated.

You're also completely wrong about the stance of both right and left. Considering its always the right trying to shut off dissent, and the left protecting it. I can point to many a peaceful activist arrested without due cause as an example. Especially under the last administration.

I speak from personal experience in both cases. The left has never, ever, tried to silence me, but the right clearly continues to try. Fortunately, I am a better custodian of myself and my chosen path, than said right seems to manage.

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From:ponsdorf
Date:July 4th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
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I'd like to ask simply; do you think this country is currently on the right path?

I don't much care what other countries are doing (internally, that is).

That question aside; there really seems to be a contradiction of sorts in your comment.

"If you don't like it here, leave." is just common sense. It has little to do with dissent in most forms. It has little to do with left/right issues.

If you go to a restaurant and all the other patrons seem to being enjoying the service and food, but you're not; what would you do?



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From:ravenchilde_art
Date:July 5th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
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Its doing better than it was under the last administration. Not that things can't be better, but that's mainly the fault of conservative obstructionists getting in the way of things being fixed.

There are no contradictions in my statements.

"If you don't like it here, leave" is for quitters. Making wherever you live into a better place is for winners.

As for the restaurant metaphor. I rarely go along with the majority. They might be all part of the same club, and be play acting to fit in. Course, I'm also not a fussy eater, and anything is better than my own cooking.:)
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From:msanborn
Date:July 4th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
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^this^

*hugs*
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From:myndcryme
Date:July 4th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
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“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.”

Thank you for your words and your service. Happy Independence Day!!!

- V -
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From:nsingman
Date:July 4th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
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Except July 4th has nothing to do with the Constitution, Bryan, and that latter document was an offense to the principles of the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution was also quite clearly an abysmal failure, considering that it did not limit the scope of the federal government.

Today we celebrate the colonies' secession from Great Britain. The Constitution, a fraud perpetrated on the people of those colonies, began with a congress to amend (not discard) the Articles of Confederation. Patrick Henry was quite right to note that he smelled a rat in Philadelphia in 1787. Even the most ardent centralists who pulled off the coup resulting in the Constitution would recognize that we are far more oppressed now than we ever were under George III.

Personally, I wish to honor the spirit of the secessionists of 1776. The federal government, by its very existence, denigrates that spirit.
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From:ponsdorf
Date:July 4th, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC)
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You're quite right, saved me saying much the same.
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From:myndcryme
Date:July 5th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
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"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

- John Adams
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From:nsingman
Date:July 5th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
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John Adams was one of the aforementioned centralists. However, the Constitution is demonstrably inadequate for the government of any people at all, including the moral or religious (two orthogonal categories). It has failed us all.
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From:myndcryme
Date:July 5th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
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I don't see how a piece of paper can fail you. People fail you. Perhaps the ideas espoused in the Constitution run into the same factor which makes Communism pretty on paper, but murderous in practice.

Human nature and human failing.

Perhaps the American experiment truly is dead. Perhaps our predecessors and peers have failed us. Although I believe that true failure takes root the moment and individual looks to a document, an ancestor, or a peer to succeed of fail for them. Perhaps ours is now a nation who ought to trade their ever-eroding freedoms for promises of more security.

God have mercy on those type of folk.

- V -
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From:nsingman
Date:July 5th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
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Apologies for writing imprecisely. No, words on a piece of paper, per se, cannot fail us. And for the record, communism isn't even pretty on paper.

"Human nature and human failing."

Yes, and that nature is why failure (to preserve freedom) was inevitable. As Lord Acton observed, "The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern [others]. Every class is unfit to govern [others]."
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From:myndcryme
Date:July 6th, 2010 01:32 am (UTC)
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"The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern [others]. Every class is unfit to govern [others]."

Excellent quote.

- V -
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From:retro_rider55
Date:July 5th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
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Happy Fourth to you & yours, Bryan!
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From:graywolf44
Date:July 5th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
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Excellent post, Bryan!

This land I *will* defend, and for those forces (internal and external) that try to wrestle it away from us will find quite the spirited fight on their hands.

You do not stand alone in this. Thirty six years ago I swore an oath to protect and defend this nation, and no one has let me out of that oath yet - and never will, either.

Here's hoping your celebration was a good one. ;)
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From:imperceptible1
Date:July 5th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
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Standing with you and remembering those who made this all possible.
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From:magdalene74
Date:August 4th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
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did you know my dad? wwsmithus? cause this sounds just like something he would have written... and i needed that at the moment.