As we celebrate freedom and independence today in America, let’s not forget that freedom was won in blood and earned in sweat and a cornerstone of our freedom is the safety in sowing narrow views that may not be a part of the mainstream liking.

When a president makes a partisan, political, speech on the Fourth of July in front of American troops who are not allowed to disagree with him, we begin to see a puppet show pretending to be leadership where a bobbing-head politician pontificates in front of a solemn and mute military audience beaten down by dust and bones.

Our troops have tasted the dry blood of war. Our majority leadership have not. It is difficult as a citizen of this nation to see the politicalization of our military against our least-favored, vested, national values and how it all mixes together to make an intractable paste of a policy for an ongoing war with no direct way out of the bloodshed.

To silence the dissent of the People or the Fourth Estate because their reach, their world view and their analysis of the facts does not match the public agenda of those in the majority who wish to lead us that way instead of this way is wrong and must always be fought out loud and never be tolerated.

Last Sunday, Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote a stunning article about Press freedom and responsibility to the human beyond mere politicking:

“OLD GLORY lost today,” Bill Frist declaimed last week when
his second attempt to rewrite the Constitution in a single month went
the way of his happy prognosis for Terri Schiavo. Of course it isn’t
Old Glory that lost when the flag-burning amendment flamed out. The
flag always survives the politicians who wrap themselves in it.

really provoked Mr. Frist’s crocodile tears was the foiling of yet
another ruse to distract Americans from the wreckage in Iraq. He and
his party, eager to change the subject in an election year, just can’t
let go of their scapegoat strategy. It’s illegal Hispanic immigrants,
gay couples seeking marital rights, cut-and-run Democrats and rampaging
flag burners who have betrayed America’s values, not those who bungled
a war.

You can feel Frank’s rightful rage. He wasn’t done yet with the false issues burning America as precocious distractions from what really matters:

No sooner were the flag burners hustled offstage than a
new traitor was unveiled for the Fourth: the press. Public enemy No. 1
is The New York Times, which was accused of a “disgraceful” compromise
of national security (by President Bush) and treason (by Representative
Peter King of New York and the Coulter amen chorus).

The Times’ offense
was to publish a front-page article about a comprehensive American
effort to track terrorists with the aid of a Belgian consortium, Swift,
which serves as a clearinghouse for some 7,800 financial institutions
in 200 countries.

Frank wrapped up his wide-ranging and well-reasoned diatribe with this gem:

The assault on a free press during our own wartime should
be recognized for what it is: another desperate ploy by officials
trying to hide their own lethal mistakes in the shadows. It’s the
antithesis of everything we celebrate with the blazing lights of
Independence Day.

Oh, and Please Burn an American Flag today to help remind us of the freedom we still have despite the dishonest efforts of those who claim to represent us and our core American values.


  1. To paraphrase a quotation from Hannah and Her Sisters, if George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and particularly Benjamin Franklin were to be brought into today’s America and were to see all that was being done from what they set up they would never stop vomiting.
    Excuse the imagery but the truth of your piece today bothers me.
    My parents used to tell me when I was a teen that the difference between the United States and where they came from (Romania) was that if they were to march up and down the streets with signs having “Down with the President” here it would not be Siberia worthy offenses.
    They didn’t send the Dixie Chicks to Siberia but they certainly did a lot of damage.

  2. Hi Gordon!
    I’m vomiting with them!
    The lessons of your parents is important and I am glad they shared it with you to remind you of where we are as a nation and where we should be as a country.
    Dissent in this nation has been branded “unAmerican” and “cowardly” and those making those accusations have no right to overrule the core values in the founding of this country.
    The Dixie Chicks were sabotaged by their false fans but are triumphing in the end with stellar CD sales. Living well is great revenge.
    My fear is we have been taken too far into the tar pit to recover our equilibrium in our lifetimes.
    Many of my conservative friends believe we are in the biblical “Last Days” and there are days when I think they are right to think that way.

  3. I don’t know if this is comforting at all but this is hardly the first time we have been in a situation like this. Maybe this is worse now but I remember how I felt in the mid to late 80’s, with tension growing between the US and the USSR.
    I kept hearing that we both had the power to blow up the earth several times with a button push.
    I thought there was no way out and that we would surely destroy each other before things got any better.
    Our President had a very similar You Are For Us Or Against Us mindset.
    My history teacher in 11th grade told us that historically speaking, the United States politically is like a pendulum. At this point I think the pendulum has already changed course and is heading LEFT. The 2008 midterm elections will be a strong indicator of this methinks.

  4. I hope we’re swinging left, Gordon.
    I, too, follow the Pendulum analogy:
    With North Korea and Iran now struggling to earn nuclear weapons — and a seat at the national table of ideas and influence — my fear is military tension will only grow in the years to come and not calm down. “Mutually assured destruction” doesn’t seem to matter when you’re dealing with radicals who believe they will find everlasting life in their death.

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