Happy 4th of July: Let Freedom Ring

In 2006, I wrote that "It's a Hollow Feeling This Fourth of July." Are we any better off this year? We haven't seen much tangible progress, but Bush and Cheney are gone and we do seem to be headed in the right direction, even if we are moving at a snail's pace.

So, yes, I'm going to celebrate. But I'm also not going to forget the freedoms we need to protect and defend, not just for our law-abiding citizens but for all who are living within our country, including those who continue to be detained at Guantanamo, who are languishing in our prisons, and who live in fear of being separated from their families and deported.

If you're looking for something to evoke a feeling of what today is about, here's one of my favorites:

What are your thoughts and plans this Independence Day? (Menu descriptions welcome.)

< Is There a HouseGate in Sarah Palin's Future? | 4th of July Music and Open Thread >
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    Thinking of seeing "Summer Hours," (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 02:14:41 AM EST
    a French film which received excellent reviews; decided "Public Enemies" is too violent for me after reading the lengthy NYT review.

    A French film sounds like fun (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:08:50 AM EST
    but I will have to settle for blowing things up in rural Alabama.

    "Summer Hours" is good. (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Radiowalla on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:38:02 PM EST
    It deals with aging, life closure, family, moving on, all within a beautiful country house filled with fine art.  

    I hate violence in movies, but I make an exception for Mafia-type movies.  Not sure why.  So I plan to see "Public Enemies" tomorrow.


    I only like my violence mafia style too (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:41:28 PM EST
    It's business, not personal :)

    MT, there is a diary up at DK on (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:42:22 PM EST
    fireworks in Alabama.

    what da ya know? (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 01:19:57 PM EST
    I'll have to go peek.

    Here's the diary (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 02:16:34 PM EST

    I noticed this year that they stopped selling the faux gun device that is nothing more than an in hand launch for bottle rockets. The kids have cool bottle rocket fights with them until someone loses an eye.  Then they take a year off.


    We bought one of the cake design (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 02:26:56 PM EST
    grand finale along with everything else.  We got mostly the shells you fire out of a tube and that bloom overhead.  We exchanged the cardboard tubes though that are provided with PVC tubes and we shoot them off lakeside, they are buried in the ground.

    That diary has some seriously sick (none / 0) (#63)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 02:33:57 PM EST

    I think it's a lifetime job (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:25:58 PM EST
    civilizing our lizard brain.  In Iraq when you celebrate you often shoot automatic weapons into the air.  I would have never thought I would host the neighborhood fireworks display ever...but life happens and things change.  If anyone around here is going to be in charge of such a thing I'm glad my paranoid husband is I suppose.

    I'll say "Let Freedom Ring" (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by weltec2 on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:42:55 AM EST
    when Obama starts acting like a Democrat. Until then... sour as ever.

    What about "let freedom ring" (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:01:08 PM EST
    after Obama has closed Gitmo, the prison at Bagram air force base, and various and sundry black sites around the world.

    Happy 4th (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Xclusionary Rule 4ever on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:46:12 AM EST
    I'm in Memphis TN and I plan on going to Gus's tonight for the best fried chicken in the land. I am thankful this year for president Obama. Al Franken has been given his senate seat, congress is addressing healthcare, energy and prison reform. Republicans are down for the count. Change is underway.

    Blue DOGS (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by weltec2 on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:56:22 AM EST
    They are called Blue Dogs because they have the Democratic Party by the throat and we're gagging to death. I'm sorry. There is no Democratic majority. Let's all take a deep breath and try to get real.

    If the Repugs can make everyone believe that the Dems had a majority and could still accomplish nothing, then things will swing back the other way in the next election.

    Bush and Cheney are gone, but (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 05:52:56 AM EST
    they are lurking.
    And as for going in the right direction, even at a snail's pace...
    I wish I could see it.

    I don't really see any direction. Just a drift.

    The war in Afghanistan.
    The administration being consistently on the wrong side of issues relating to freedom of information and the rights of the individual.
    What direction is this?

    When liberals are in a position to do something for the country, and they do little or nothing, the result is that the electorate turns to someone they consider to be strong. So if Obama and his coterie keep this befuddled circular snail's pace going, the result will be another fascist president.

    July 4th.
    The last thing that our government wants us to think about is revolution.
    Especially the American revolution.

    Happy Birthday! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 07:30:07 AM EST
    Raining here (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 07:46:10 AM EST
    and rain predicted throughout the day. Will definitely put a damper on many peoples holiday plans.

    The gloomy weather is reflective of my opinion of how we as a country are moving. The actions taken or not taken to date definitely put a damper on any optimism or expectations of any real movement in the correct direction. With a play on words, it could be said that the country is either still stuck or moving in the RIGHT (politically) direction.

    Yo Mo (none / 0) (#11)
    by NYShooter on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:08:12 AM EST
    Wassa matta you? Didn't you get the message, The Grand Vacillator has finally gotten tough.......with you!
    "President Obama, strategizing yesterday with congressional leaders about health-care reform, complained that liberal advocacy groups ought to drop their attacks on Democratic lawmakers and devote their energy to promoting passage of comprehensive legislation."
    You're the problem, not the Republicans, not the Insurance Companies.....you!

    Don't you remember, during the campaign, he promised every American "good, low cost, affordable, health insurance"; top priority!

    Oops, well now we should be good little Obomabots and help him in "his goal of expanding coverage, controlling rising costs and modernizing the health system."
    Do you see Universal health care? Do you see public option? Do you see any hope?

    Neither do I.


    I think that the (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:04:10 AM EST
    liberal advocacy groups attacks on Democratic lawmakers are devoting their energy to promoting passage of comprehensive legislation.

    Now maybe if Obama would have Rahm Emanuel devote his energy to putting pressure on members of Congress to get real healthCARE reform the advocacy groups wouldn't have to do his job for him. Instead Emanuel indicated to members of Congress that Obama is "open to alternatives to even a public plan."

    What I am seeing is an administration and a Congress that is more worried about insurance company profits (and related campaign contributions) than the needs of the American people for good, low cost, affordable healthcare.


    The reason Obama isn't going to (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:23:23 AM EST
    get this thing right is that he thinks it's just about "good, low cost, affordable, health insurance."  Helath insurance is a commodity: it doesn't guarantee CARE, doesn't guarantee that CARE will be any more affordable and, if the price for it is cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, will negatively affect the CARE of the oldest and poorest of our citizens.

    If the goal is better CARE, better access to CARE and better delivery of CARE, if the goal is healthier people, who by being healthier are less of an overall drain on medical services and the economy in general, then we have to build a system that will accomplish that.  

    Making sure everyone has a health insurance policy isn't the answer to the question of how we reach those goals, but it is the answer to how we are going to guarantee that the insurance companies will have record profits, record bonuses, record dividends to shareholders.  And when, in a year or 2 years or 5 years, when that is what Obamacare has produced, when people still cannot afford CARE, are not getting the CARE they need, when the outcomes and mortality rates are static, when the costs are still through the roof, then what?

    It's almost as if the only question that was ever going to be asked was one that was going to give us the answer the insurance companies wanted.


    I'm (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:05:36 AM EST
    glad for everybody that's doing better this year. I'm not. I'm not upside down in my mortgage and my health insurance went up 20% this year and will probably continue to go up with no raises or increase in income for myself or my husband. Sorry to be such a downer but all the hopefullness of getting rid of Bush is now gone.

    At least your not wasting time (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by SOS on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:36:43 AM EST
    trying to convince yourself. . .

    The economy is going to be better next year.


    We are talking about challenging our (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:07:46 AM EST
    property tax assessment this year.  Our house is worth ten thousand more this year than last year, and the year before that it was worth about twenty thousand more.  This is getting stupid.

    Believe it or not (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:19:00 AM EST
    our property tax assessment went down this year. Good news for people like me who are not planning to move anytime soon. Bad news for people who bought when homes had a higher value need to sell. Also, bad news for state revenue and services.

    In Penna, they raise the mil (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by BarnBabe on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:28:12 PM EST
    The value of my house is the same for the last 5 years, BUT, they raise the mil on that value each year for the schools. This year and last we got a $250 credit off because of the slot machines. Better than nothing. If you want to hear bad property taxes, then NJ is really bad. Some more than twice as much as ours.

    Well (5.00 / 0) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:53:06 PM EST
    they actually devalued our property from last year BUT the taxes are the same because of the rate change. So in the end, it doesnt really matter but I'd tell them that I'd love to sell my house to anyone who'd pay what the county says its worth!!!

    Would that hold true if you tried to sell? (none / 0) (#29)
    by nycstray on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:15:44 AM EST
    Not unless someone is absolutely in (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:29:41 AM EST
    love with our house.  Our home is older, many things need an update to be highly market competitive right now.  I think the best way to go about this is a fresh appraisal, but this is in my opinion a tax scam currently underway in Enterprise AL.  I'm sorry local government needs more money but I feel they are going about this dishonestly.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, grab your Pepto (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:07:24 AM EST
    The most famous day in American history. Fireworks? Independence? Baseball and apple pie? Nope, today is the 94th Annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest from Coney Island. It starts at Noon Eastern Time and is carried live on ESPN.

    Who wouldn't want to watch grown men downing hotdogs like Blutarsky at an all you can eat buffet. Early favorite is two-time defending champion Joey Chestnut, while the second choice on the Vegas betting line is 6-time Champion Takeru Kobayashi.

    Get a ring side seat by your TV and don't forget to bring a barf bag. With the Tour de France only in stage 1, and Breakfast at Wimbledon to be concluded before the tube steak starting gun fires, what better way to follow up your strawberries and cream breakfast than with the greatest American sporting event of the day where grown men will eat more hotdogs in 12 minutes than you or I will consume over the next year.

    Happy birthday America! (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:38:16 AM EST

    My usually law-abiding father used to (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:08:51 AM EST
    facilitate lawlessness by purchasing fireworks in MO to bring to IA and help my older brother try to blow us all up. Fun.

    sorry, had to delete the comment (none / 0) (#37)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 11:14:01 AM EST
    with the picture, can't put pictures in comments (the blogging software isn't set up for it.)

    I love the huge "No Smoking" (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by nycstray on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:13:55 AM EST
    above the doors! I was in Chinatown once and a small shop that opened onto the street started going off. It was wild! I was across the street and a couple doors down so I could watch it :) Those pesky fireworks . . . .

    Have fun tonight!

    And on a different note (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:25:05 AM EST
    I find myself thinking of our troops today, having pulled back in Iraq but now pushing in Afghanistan in "Strike of the Sword".  We were out to dinner yesterday when Strike of the Sword was announced as underway.  After enduring such missions as Iron Fist and Spear I asked the table, "Who names this chit?"  Someone said that they doubted the President had any say.  Someone else said that obviously liberals had named this thing because it was so wordy and if Republicans had named it it would be Sword Strike.  Someone else laughed outloud and asked the table if everyone remembered how pissed off the 3rd ID was as they sat on the border about to enter Iraq because of WMDs and then heard on the news they were called Iraqi Freedom and they had come to free nobody.  Life goes on, and I find myself thinking about our soldiers today far away from home.

    sorry about the picture being deleted (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 11:15:58 AM EST
    you can type picture and then use the link button  to insert the url to the image (use your preview button first to make sure it works.)

    Wasn't sure how to do it (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:01:47 PM EST
    I've posted photos here before, but seems like photobucket changed some things up and it doesn't work the way I'm used to getting it to work.

    On my way to the surprise party (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 11:18:39 AM EST
    for my 60th birthday. I'm not supposed to know about it, but my dad accidently spilled the beans. Always hard to fake surprise.

    Happy Birthday (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 11:27:26 AM EST
    Happy Birthday! (none / 0) (#67)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 07:39:00 PM EST
    I'm sure you will look appropriately surprised, even if you have to fake it!

    Sudden surprises tend to make me burst into tears, so I would just as soon someone spill the beans so I don't make a fool of myself...

    Hope it's a great party!


    OMG - My daughter pulled such a fast one (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 02:09:34 AM EST
    There was no evidence of anyone at the house (not sure where people parked their cars)...my SIL was out working in the front yard when I arrived, so I'm thinking somehow we're going to go somewhere else, or that the guests would come later.

    Nope, everyone was down on the lower deck hiding. They caught me off-guard enough to get me surprised...shortly after my very best friend from high school comes up behind me and asks "so, this is which birthday?". My daughter flew her in from Kansas City. The guest list was astonishing and I saw friends I hadn't seen for a couple of years.

    It was so fantastic.  Tomorrow my best friend and I will be heading out for a full day of shopping!

    And, yes, I burst into tears when my best friend caught me by surprise...what an incredible day it turned out to be.


    how great to have (none / 0) (#73)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 11:50:15 AM EST
    both your dad and your high school best friend at a 60th birthday party!

    Oh, I was hoping you would tell us (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:10:54 PM EST
    about the party.  What fun.

    i'm celebrating the good (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by cpinva on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 01:30:30 PM EST
    possibility that we won't start another unnecessary war, before year's end.

    to those offended by iraqi's celebrating our troops leaving there, i say you should instead be happy for them. if, indeed, part of the reason for us being there was to "liberate" them (it wasn't, but work with me here!), those celebrations should represent our success in that regard.

    for the first time in years, i have no specific plans for the day. nowhere i have to drive to, no traffic and crowds to deal with. i may have actually achieved nirvana! :)

    I thought of the quote from President Eisenhower (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by JDM in NYC on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 08:09:03 PM EST
    that George Clooney used in Good Night and Good Luck when I read Pitt's quote in Jeralyn's OP:
    Why are we proud? We are proud, first of all, because from the beginning of this Nation, a man can walk upright, no matter who he is, or who she is. He can walk upright and meet his friend--or his enemy; and he does not fear that because that enemy may be in a position of great power that he can be suddenly thrown in jail to rot there without charges and with no recourse to justice. We have the habeas corpus act, and we respect it.

    When I went looking for it, though, I found the whole speech it's from, and it's a remarkable speech in its entirety.

    It is horrible to know that we have gone, in only half a century, from having the President hold habeas corpus as the foremost thing Americans should be proud of, to Bush and Cheney's authoritarianism. This is the first Independence Day since the end of their terms, and I can only hope that President Obama will understand that, in Eisenhower's word's:

    ... (I)f we are going to continue to be proud that we are Americans, there must be no weakening of the code by which we have lived; by the right to meet your accuser face to face, if you have one; by your right to go to the church or the synagogue or even the mosque of your own choosing; by your right to speak your mind and be protected in it.

    I still put progress (none / 0) (#2)
    by JamesTX on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 02:19:16 AM EST
    at a good strong maybe. There is a tremendous amount of damage to repair, and the ship may go down before it can be accomplished. The basic ideas about individual rights and protections embodied in our Constitution have been mocked and effectively disarmed. That could be fixed. It is more disheartening, though, to observe that most of the public just doesn't see it that way. The propaganda of the Reagan revolution seriously interfered with the political and ethical education of a couple of generations. We were once a people who believed individual protections were more important than punishment of the guilty, because our country was formed as a result arbitrary empowerment of authority leading to abuse. Our people now seem to believe individual rights and protections are not so important. What is particularly disturbing is a complete breakdown of the sense that the protections must be absolute, and that they apply to the guilty as well as the innocent. We now have a majority who believe enforcement of criminal law must be absolute (ends justify means in punishing the guilty), but they think rights are superficial and should be violated "if there is a really, really good reason to do so". There are mechanisms in the government for repairing the damage, but there is no mechanism to enlighten a population which has lost interest in justice, or simply were never taught about the dangers of authoritarianism. The authoritarians are still exercising a great deal of restraint, but they are almost to the point where it will no longer be necessary for them to do so. Then it will be too late.

    The technology change is perhaps a good thing, though. Whenever the technology changes, the principles have to be restated in the vocabulary of the emerging lifestyles. If the ideas behind our form of government can be stated in terms of the new technologies, people may be able to understand it.

    Some opportunities (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by cal1942 on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:33:03 AM EST
    have probably already been squandered.

    The most important, reforming the finance industry, isn't going to happen.

    A lost opportunity and all for the sake of preserving the status-quo.

    Expect preserving the status-quo to be the focus of this administration.


    Not sure debt salvery is my ultimate idea of (none / 0) (#12)
    by SOS on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:35:15 AM EST

    One of my neighbors always puts out flags next (none / 0) (#15)
    by Angel on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:39:50 AM EST
    to our mailboxes on Independence Day. And every year I go out and pull the thing from the grass and discard it, mumble about how sick I am of our government, how they've trampled the Constitution, curse about the war in Iraq, vent my anger about almost everything having to do with our country, and moan about how the rightwings have co-opted our flag.  But I didn't do that this year because for once in the past eight years I'm not totally pissed.  I'm not always proud of my country but feel a lot better about it now than I have in many, many years.  Happy Independence Day!

    good point. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by JamesTX on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 08:17:49 PM EST
    It is easy to concentrate on everything that is terribly wrong, and we may not make it yet. But who would have thought we could elect Obama, even though he isn't everything many of us would like. And who would have thought we would control the House, much less be the force we are in the Senate. All in all, my old friend may have been correct in something he told me many years ago -- before my joints hurt so much and when my hairline was much more biased to the rostral. Americans are apathetic, ignorant, have short memories, and often fail to intervene against injustice when they should. But, in the end, if you squeeze them hard enough something really good oozes out. The Bush administration did that squeezing, and I think my friend's theory might be right. In comparison to the last thirty years, I see some very comforting rhetoric emerging in American political discourse, however limited, impaired and stained it all may be from three decades of evil. We may still have it.

    How disrespectful (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:34:13 AM EST
    Disrespectful of your neighbors and their right to their beliefs and wishes, and also disrespectful of the respect we are supposed to have for the United States flag.  It's so funny that the Repubs took on flag legislation when anyone sees what even Repubs do with those little flags handed out like candy at events :)

    I'm not sure what you're saying is disrespectful, (none / 0) (#39)
    by Angel on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 11:18:21 AM EST
    the neighbors putting out flags on everyone's private property or my past habit for removing the flag and discarding it.  Yes, I think they hand these things out like candy at a parade. And I think they are presumptous for thinking that everyone wants one on their property.  They put this on my private property.  It's my right to remove it.  And it's my right to want to disassociate myself from the flag when I think that it conveys something that I'm uncomfortable with.  And when the rightwings co-opted the flag I became uncomfortable with it and it's perceived connotations.  I don't think I've shown any disrespect at all.  

    That was confusing....sorry (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:07:41 PM EST
    I've never been much of a flag person, but I'm aware that there are certain rules that a person is supposed to follow when displaying the American flag.  It is supposed to come down at night unless it is lighted, things of that sort.  I find it odd that someone in your neighborhood thinks that taking huge liberties with the private property of others by throwing the flag about is a kind of patriotism :)  To each his own though, and if someone felt the need to dress my mailbox I would undress mine too.

    They drive around and stick them in the ground (none / 0) (#44)
    by Angel on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:11:34 PM EST
    next to the mailboxes.  And get this - attached to the stem of the wooden flagpole is a business card!  The person is a real estate agent and is advertising her business.  This year I just removed her business card and left the flag out.  Every other year I've disposed of the entire thing.  

    A business card? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:35:58 PM EST
    How very American :)  

    And in this case - how very republican. (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Angel on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:39:08 PM EST
    And yes, I know her political party preference in case anyone questions this.  Not an assumption on my part.  

    I liked some of the flag displays I saw (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by nycstray on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:50:31 PM EST
    walking to and from my CSA. Country flags waving right next to the stars and stripes*. Irish, Italian, Puerto Rican. I'm pretty sure there's some Polish and other Eastern Euro flags flying in another part of my 'hood. Very colorful and fun out there.

    *on the same house, flag holder etc.


    I'm listening to "Reading Lolita (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:43:29 AM EST
    in Tehran."  We've got it pretty good here folks.  Strip search of female secondary student barred by SCOTUS.  No "virginity" exams by Revolutionary Guard, to my knowledge.  Welcome to read "Lolita" whenever we like.  Look on the bright side.  

    Very little makes me think about (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:46:42 AM EST
    the bad things than being told to "look on the bright side." Sorry oculus.

    Does this help? Per Huff Post, Levi (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:59:29 AM EST
    Johnston will write a book telling all about the Palin family.

    heh (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:02:28 AM EST
    Money I won't be spending!

    On the fourth we try to relax (none / 0) (#18)
    by SOS on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:52:14 AM EST
    but that usually turns into sitting there thinking,

    I guess this is what Baghdad or Tikrit sounds like on a bad night.

    Just watched Serena Williams win Wimbledon (none / 0) (#19)
    by caseyOR on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:55:55 AM EST
    Serena beat her older sister Venus in straight sets to clinch her third Wimbledon title. Those two are such great tennis players. So athletically talented. I love watching them play.

    Serena definitely had her game (none / 0) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:12:39 AM EST
    together today. Agree, both are great tennis players.

    Criminy (none / 0) (#36)
    by cal1942 on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:41:48 AM EST
    what's that gaping hole?  A test area maybe.

    Aestheticizing War (none / 0) (#52)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:53:44 PM EST
    Yeah, it is great to have a b'day celebrating US independence, but that was sooooo long ago. Today fireworks only remind me of the fact that we are out there killing other human beings in the name of democracy and idealism. At least Great Britain was upfront about imperialism and quest for empire way back when.

    Some things never seem to change.

    I'm going troutfishing. (none / 0) (#55)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 01:34:45 PM EST
    Spouse and I tied flies and are getting everything ready right now.

    Later - BBQ w/ friends maybe. Depends how good the fishing is, and whether we come back in time. If the fishing is good, we'll stay until they stop biting!

    It would not be true to say we are in a happy time (none / 0) (#56)
    by joze46 on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 01:35:39 PM EST
    Yes, there is a tremendous amount of damage to repair. But the most significant fault line is a fracture in America's communications culture. For me too, as James TX points out with refreshing attention to "the propaganda machine of the Reagan revolution seriously interfered with the political and ethical education of a couple of generations." I am saddened to say that I was absorbed in this era and thought that what Reagan was doing was for the good.

    Well, now realizing Reagan politics was not good, much of it was horrible. Actually the concept of the Republican theme has not been a true Conservative core. It's simple just as in the physics of the natural order of things does surface what one takes from the system needs to be placed back into it or will likely as no matter what new world order is contrived, result with failure. Ladies and gentlemen of America the poor and middle income people have been intellectually raped for decades. Thinking we need to defend the rich and powerful, it is not a need, we have to or they will with out regret put anyone out in the street or as James TX suggests we loose the freedoms we have to be cast into mental and physical purgatory.  

    Now cutting taxes and sacking the treasury through fear of failure is diminishing the American dream. Whole legions of educated college graduates have made mistakes in grand fashion. They are not accountable all the while now asking American's to stand in the unemployment line and spend generations to pay for their mistakes. It is preposterous to think that America can slip into an abyss by an insurance company that is too big to fail and destroy our system. In the eleventh hour Bush claims our system is resilient, so let them who have made mistakes learn by them. Giving these entities free money from the Federal Reserve or the treasury is nothing but "forced public philanthropy."  

    It's all too obvious these educated intellectuals just want the fast way out. And standing in line is not the way for them.  It's all so fully kept secret as to the real reasons to stay in a war in the Middle East. The real fear and terror for me is that concept is this hard reasoning "not to be able to stop a war." That does frighten me. Worse is the total complicity of the communications medium, cable and Hollywood spending more time in Iconic worshiping while the serious problem engulfs us in wild fires of corruption that rage through every part of the system. Yet so few are held accountable. It's as though executive privilege has crossed to breach and infect business principles with total disregard for we the people that support it all.    

    KUSC FM is streaming live a recording (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 01:45:06 PM EST
    of LA Philharmonic performing Verdi "Requiem."  Thrilling.  

    Clueless and cluelesser (none / 0) (#71)
    by lentinel on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 06:35:50 AM EST
    "Hello and Happy Fourth of July, everybody. This weekend is a time to get together with family and friends, kick back, and enjoy a little time off. And I hope that`s exactly what all of you do."


    About 10% of us have a lot of time off already.

    And, it was something like (1.00 / 0) (#72)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 10:13:51 AM EST
    1,200 families invited to the WH picnic. Even the unemployed pay taxes on that minimal income...and that's where our dollars are going right now.