Porkopolis

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What Are You Celebrating?

Today's Cincinnati Post has a deligthful story about the futility of laws against fireworks, with police chiefs lamenting the civil disobedience that takes over neighborhoods every Fourth of July.

When Independence Day comes around, I always wonder what it is that people are celebrating. Is it power of the United States of America or the values espoused by its founders? The two are increasingly in conflict. We have become an empire, with troops stationed in more than 100 countries. We conquer and occupy virtually defenseless nations. We imprison foreign citizens without charge or access to the courts. Our soldiers rape and kill civilians. The federal government monitors the use of our telephones.

This is liberty?

— Gregory Flannery

12 Comments:

  • Obviously I am not keeping kosher by continuing to nibble away here at Porkopolis. My excellent friend, Waki Paki, is none too happy about it either.
    That said, we must give up the thought that liberty and government should be in the same sentence. Greg?
    Government means putting a lid on liberty. Doesn't it?
    Be an anarchist like yours truly.
    Don't be misled by government-loving buddies saying anarchists advocate violence. True blue ones do not.
    Be a peace-lover. And be patient.
    All good things come to she who waits.
    How many days 'til Bastille Day?

    By Anonymous David Gallaher, at 8:38 PM  

  • Ironic, I was at a friends house for his annual 4th of July (quite illegal) fireworks party, sitting nearby to Sheriff & Mrs. Simon Lies!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:59 PM  

  • Oh, please, being a bit dramatic, I say. The US helps far more than it hurts. Your being far too idealistic. It's a shame something called the real world gets in the way of your lofty ideas.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:32 AM  

  • other than Iraq, where are our troops stationed without explicit permission of the host country?

    military combatants have the right of access to military court.

    we celebrate the birth of nation and the ideas and ideals upon which it was founded.

    is there another country you'd prefer to live in? Funny how the crap on America crowd always does so from within the comfort and security of her borders.

    By Blogger Alicia Doesn't Live Here Anymore, at 12:57 PM  

  • Alicia Doesn't Live Here,

    We have troops in Cuba, against the express wishes of its government. We have troops in Afghanistan, with permission from the government we installed after invading it. But permission isn't the point; the global reach of U.S. military power is. At what point does "defense" become offense?

    By Blogger Greg Flannery, at 2:07 PM  

  • Greg, please leave this country that you detest so much. You are such a cliche.

    By Anonymous Kevin Fagan, at 2:07 PM  

  • "Funny how the crap on America crowd always does so from within the comfort and security of her borders."

    alicia...,
    You need to get out more... beyond "her" borders.

    Have you seen a poll of attitudes in the UK which is the Number One ally of Dubya/Cheney?

    Hey, allow me to save you money. I'll introduce you to Waki Paki. He'll be glad to "crap on America" before your very eyes, yet in a polite and tasteful way.

    By Anonymous david gallaher, at 8:28 PM  

  • Greg,

    I guess we can dwell on all that is wrong with our nation... but yesterday I sat at the Anderson Township 4th of July Parade. Jean Schmidt was in it and when she walked past I yelled, "Remember John Murtha!"

    I like the 4th of July. It's about the freedoms we were given. Some use them rightly, some use them wrongly, but the worst American is the one that is too scared to use them at all.

    Anyway, I wish you could had seen the snarl that Schmidt shot my way. It made my day!

    Happy belated 4th.

    Vote Vic Wulsin... She may not be Hackett but thank God she ain't Schmidt!

    By Anonymous Peter Deane, at 9:42 PM  

  • We seem to be celebrating the opportunity to get drunk and blow stuff up. There is no other obvious idea or evidence of any larger concept.

    Loud is best and relighting the wick on the large explosives when they fail to explode is always the finest possible moment. How fast can someone run away when he or she has had numerous beers? Will he or she make it? Betting becomes rampant.

    I understand the post was to examine the role of America and its war-making tendencies, etc. As usual, the citizens were not remotely interested. Like many of our early colonists, they wanted to get drunk and make lots of noise.

    By Anonymous MC, at 2:57 AM  

  • I do not celebrate Independence Day. I have not for many, many years. Its just a small way for me to protest. As an African American it was clear that the founding fathers were not referring to my ancestors. My freedoms were not included. Several of the founding fathers were also slaveholders which in my book was irony at its best. Even today I find that America has yet to fully live up to its ideals. It will be great if/when America can really be America to me. I think that Langston Hughes said it best...

    Let America be America again.

    Let it be the dream it used to be.
    Let it be the pioneer on the plain
    Seeking a home where he himself is free.

    (America never was America to me.)

    Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
    Let it be that great strong land of love
    Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
    That any man be crushed by one above.

    (It never was America to me.)

    O, let my land be a land where Liberty
    Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
    But opportunity is real, and life is free,
    Equality is in the air we breathe.

    (There's never been equality for me,
    Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

    Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
    And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

    I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
    I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
    I am the red man driven from the land,
    I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
    And finding only the same old stupid plan
    Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

    I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
    Tangled in that ancient endless chain
    Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
    Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
    Of work the men! Of take the pay!
    Of owning everything for one's own greed!

    I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
    I am the worker sold to the machine.
    I am the Negro, servant to you all.
    I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
    Hungry yet today despite the dream.
    Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
    I am the man who never got ahead,
    The poorest worker bartered through the years.

    Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
    In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
    Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
    That even yet its mighty daring sings
    In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
    That's made America the land it has become.
    O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
    In search of what I meant to be my home--
    For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
    And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
    And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
    To build a "homeland of the free."

    The free?

    Who said the free? Not me?
    Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
    The millions shot down when we strike?
    The millions who have nothing for our pay?
    For all the dreams we've dreamed
    And all the songs we've sung
    And all the hopes we've held
    And all the flags we've hung,
    The millions who have nothing for our pay--
    Except the dream that's almost dead today.

    O, let America be America again--
    The land that never has been yet--
    And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
    The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
    Who made America,
    Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
    Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
    Must bring back our mighty dream again.

    Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
    The steel of freedom does not stain.
    From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
    We must take back our land again,
    America!

    O, yes,
    I say it plain,
    America never was America to me,
    And yet I swear this oath--
    America will be!

    Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
    The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
    We, the people, must redeem
    The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
    The mountains and the endless plain--
    All, all the stretch of these great green states--
    And make America again!

    By Blogger Monica, at 5:56 PM  

  • gallaher: you're an idiot. I'll put my passport against your's any day.

    America's value isn't its polling in a popularity contest.

    Greg: Kharzei (sp?) the elected President of Afghanistan doesn't want us there? Huh, who knew.

    Cuba? Let me guess: you genuflect before Castro alongside defunct CityBeat CommSymp KY Wilson?

    Cuba is a shithole thanks to the Godless Communists- ask any Exile in South Florida. Cuba's "government" is a military dictatorship. Sounds like a good place for you to live, but for your hypocritical cowardice at actually living somewhere you think is paradise for others.

    Military power? Hell yeah if the alternate is military weakness.

    I'll say this for you: your unreconstructed liberal Socialism is fabulously consistent (TABD, Bush, etc). Hell hath no fury like a socially guilty White liberal with an indefensible position to argue from.

    By Blogger Alicia Doesn't Live Here Anymore, at 7:32 PM  

  • Dear Alicia Doesn't,

    Yes, Karzai, the former CIA operative whom the U.S. invaders installed as presidennt of Afghanistan. supports the occupation. What a surprise!
    No, I don't genuflect before Castro or any other dictatorship, including the one that stole the U.S. presidential elections in 2000 and 2004.
    As for David Gallaher, his comments are far more cogent than yours. If you can do no better than calling names, please go bother some other blog.

    By Blogger Greg Flannery, at 10:24 PM  

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