July 4th, 2012

It’s the Fourth: land of the free, home of the brave

[NOTE: A portion of this post has been recycled, and part is very new.]

For many days after 9/11 I found myself going to the ocean and sitting on the rocks.

Everyone remembers that blue blue sky of 9/11, but I don’t know how many recall that it stayed that way for days afterwards. The weather was spectacular, almost eerie in its beauty, and very serene, although I felt anything but.

At the ocean, I would ordinarily see airplanes on a regular basis. But those post-9/11 days, the almost supernaturally blue skies were very, very quiet. I thought about many things as I sat there. I believed another large attack was imminent, maybe many attacks. I had no idea what could ever prevent this from happening. I thought about George Bush being President, and at the time the thought did not fill me with confidence, but rather with dread. Snatches of poems and songs would wander in and out of my head, in that repetitive way they often do. One was the “Star-Spangled Banner”—all those flags newly-flying on cars and homes brought it to mind, I suppose.

I’d known the words to that song for most of my life, and even had been taught about Francis Scott Key and the circumstances under which he wrote them. But I had never really thought much about those words before. To me it was mostly a song that was difficult to sing, not as pretty as “America the Beautiful” or “God Bless America” (the latter, in those very un-PC days of my youth, we used to sing as we marched out of assembly).

The whole first stanza of our national anthem is a protracted version of a question: does the American flag still wave over the fort? Has the US been successful in the battle? As a child, the answer seemed to me to have been a foregone conclusion–of course it waved, of course the US prevailed; how could it be otherwise? America rah-rah. America always was the winner. Our very existence as a nation had never for a moment felt threatened.

The only threat I’d ever faced to this country was the nightmarish threat of nuclear war. But that seemed more a threat to the entire planet, to humankind itself, rather than to this country specifically. And so I had never before really heard or felt the vulnerability and fear expressed in Key’s question, which he asked during the War of 1812, so shortly after the birth of the country itself: does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

But right after 9/11 I heard his doubt—and I felt it myself, too. I saw quite suddenly that there was no “given” in the existence of this country—and its continuance and its preciousness began to seem to me to be as important and as precarious as they must have seemed to Key during that night in 1814.

And then other words came to my mind, as well–the Gettysburg Address, which those crabby old teachers of mine had made us memorize in its entirety: …that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. Here it was again, the sense of the nation as an experiment in democracy and liberty, inherently special yet intensely vulnerable to destruction. That was an idea I had never until that moment grasped. But now I did, on a visceral level.

Today is the Fourth of July, the celebration of the birth of the United States, and once again I feel the preciousness and precariousness of this country and its liberties. The holiday of the Fourth has another name, too, but it isn’t “US Day” or “America Day,” as one might imagine. Nor does it celebrate the day the American Revolution ended, which might be considered the natural date of the beginning of the country.

No, the day is known as “Independence Day,” and the July 4th it honors is that of 1776, the date shown on the Declaration of Independence. That was the real beginning of the United States of America, and the “independence” it pays tribute to is not merely the historic break with Great Britain, although that’s certainly part of it. The “independence” we celebrate today is also the more general one expressed in the document itself:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

Since I began writing this blog over seven years ago I’ve had many occasions to ponder those words, and I certainly don’t lack reason to think of them now. Their beauty lies not only in their succinct and graceful expression of the sentiment, but in the idea itself, so simple yet so deep. The rights listed are humanity’s birthright, endowed by the Creator, not granted by government but only “secured” by it.

Our Constitution was written in an attempt to create a government designed to do just that. It’s an exemplary document, but that piece of paper and the institutions it establishes are only as good as the people’s devotion to liberty. That was the critical factor in 1776, and it remains so today.

It’s a thought that’s also echoed in the national anthem I discussed earlier. The banner isn’t what really matters, it’s the American people’s devotion to liberty that is so vital. So let’s say, in the words that were written so long ago: the star-spangled banner, O long may it wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

34 Responses to “It’s the Fourth: land of the free, home of the brave”

  1. holmes Says:

    Happy Fourth! Thanks for all you do to keep freedom alive.

  2. stu Says:

    We are a creedal nation exemplified by those beautiful words you recite. Thank G-d for the wisdom of my forebears to land on these sacred shores.

  3. james Says:

    Remember it is our actions that give concrete form to those words, without which they are but noise upon the wind.

  4. Don Carlos Says:

    A wonderful piece, Neo.
    You end on a hopeful note that I cannot share.
    The Flag is being lowered; it is at half-mast now.

    We must pledge our lives, fortunes and sacred honor to raising it again, or else go quietly into that “good” night.

  5. hanover Says:

    So well written…thank you! How wise the Founders were. Will we be found worthy of this amazing but fragile gift of self-determination and liberty? I pray so. But now, as in 1776, the answer is uncertain.

  6. Curtis Says:

    Ahh, the eagle. Symbol of my unit, the 101st Airborne Division. (Fred was Army)

    I ride the bus for fun and enjoyment and contemplation. Living in the land of urbanized greeting (Orange County-come visit, spend money, we love you) and far away from the reality imposed by granite mountains, rushing water, and huge trees, I’m sorry, but I need something, something to remind me that this urban scene is not controlling. An early morning bus ride where I can view the reality of working people riding the bus to their job is about as close as I can come to granite.

    Tis morning and I am riding the bus along Harbor Blvd and passing by Disney Land and not yet open but opening multiple shops offering multiple things: I received a surpise, a real piece of granite, that, although not too unusual was unique enough, and offered an affirmation and acceptance of life’s renewing power. You take what you can get in this dumbed downed, dumb and dumber, numbness: a numbness filled with atomized, overgrown, city-ized, couture, custom-fitted culture.

    I boarded an accordian bus, long and flavored with the music of many a farting butt, and headed towards the back. I like to sit in the very back, on the very side, and put my feet up on the bottom strut of the seat before me. A double bus this size at this time in the morning is filled to maybe twenty percent capacity. It is nice for pleasant riding and viewing. Consider me the old man at the mall smiling and nodding to all the passerbys and just well-wishing every living thing. It’s life affirming.

    In my seat is a troop dressed in BDU’s aka Battle Dress Uniform. Love those gov’t acronyms when they are military. Otherwise I don’t.

    He’s a young kid (twenty one he told me, enlisted at eighteen) and we talked.

    Where did you got to Basic? Fort Benning Georgia.

    Oh yeah. Sand Hill? No, but near there.

    Right, what’s your MOS? 11B.

    No shit. Infantry! Yes.

    So you are a straight leg dog face ground pounder? Yep. True blue.

    He’s Hispanic. I’m Caucasian. But we have more in common than the sleeping Hispanic gang banger whose head is tattoed. He’s been in battle too–slinging dope and protecting turf. Poor kid (poor us). Gang banger is not happy like my troop. Gang banger is tired and unhappy and wondering if life has any meaning. Meanwhile my troop is talking about his future and telling me he is volunteering his time to help the local recruiter on the 4th of July. VOLUNTEERING. Ambitious isn’t he?

    So, you see the affirmation. And this is a true story. I would not bullshit you.

    He called me sir. No, I was polite. I did not remind him that I was not an officer and that I work for a living. That kind of division is internal and both sides know the job each other has to do. Hey! There’s an affirmation right there in the military: Respect comes not from equality but from performance.

    I tells ya this was gonna be life affirming.

    We continued talking. He was pleased to have my attention and favor and his life force bubbled over like a herd of steers let out to pasture. Somehow, against the formality and crispness of his uniform and appearance, it was not inappropriate. He had already made the rank of Specialist and his next rank would be Sargeant. Now that’s something. A
    Sargeant is a non-commissioned officer in command of property and personnel. We call them “buck” Sargeants because they swell up with so much pride and power like a rutting buck. “I will take charge of this post and all government property in view.” That there, dear reader, is the first order of a senty, of a guard, of a sentinnel, a servant.

    They, you, we, us, all: we’re no good as leaders unless we have learned to seve and protect. Something for those who tax us or penalize us and give away our property to think about.

    So, now, he’s picking up his camo covered notebook. It is a thick notebook. I noticed entries filled with acronyms, sit reps (situation reports), notes, and procedures. I’m thinking this is the son Obama should recognize. Obama should not recognize someone, who upon investigation, will show a hatred towards law and America and the 4th of July. Obama should recognize someone of color who affirms America, who affirms our traditions, who affirms hope and liberty, and who will withstand all levels of investigation, someone who is true blue.

    True blue we call us in the Infantry. It comes from the Infantry cord which is worn on the right shoulder and only by Army Infantry. It means we join our other military persons to protect you (our family), your property, and the United States of America.

    And we never let that Order go.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Infantry_Cord

  7. betsybounds Says:

    My favorite part of the Declaration of Independence, be it ever so timely:

    “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  8. Curtis Says:

    Let’s go to ground.

    Liberty has no meaning if there is no liberty above us. Greece had no liberty and Rome had no liberty because their gods had no liberty.

    It needs be that a King if kings, a Lord of lords, grants liberty because He has liberty. It is a grant, a Charter. It is up to enforce it. But our foundation, our unchanging claim is that is was granted by a higher authority whose power and integrity is beyond question.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLLMzr3PFgk&feature=related

  9. carl in atlanta Says:

    Well said, Neo. I think lots of folks have been getting those unsettling 9-12 feelings of vulnerability again, lately.

    Apropos of that “consent of the governed” comment the founders made 236 years ago, did anyone else notice this poll from Rasmussen reported on June 24, 2012?:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/june_2012/22_believe_government_has_consent_of_governed

    What to make of that?

  10. njartist49 Says:

    “We are a creedal nation”

    If this is so, then it doesn’t matter if you, your children, all your descendants are replaced by Mexican peasants as long as the elites babble about Liberty, Fraternity, Equality, Democracy!

    Yes, that was the cry of the French Revolution which brings me to another point: we are now living out the French Revolution, not the American one; the American Republic is dead and swept off the field as of June 28, 2012 – you all do remember what happened, don’t you?

    And the final point: We swore “allegiance to the flag and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God….” The Republic is gone: the flag is no longer relevant to the fascist state this nation has become; a more appropriate flag would be the Obama logo flanked by a fasces and on a soviet red field.

    As for God: We cannot raise up the homosexual agenda as the new right and good and then think we are not under God’s wrath; nor can we murder 1.5 million children – sacrifices to woman’s convenience (can someone explain how this is any way morally different from Antiquity when fathers had unwanted children exposed; or when parents burned their children to Moloch?).

    The creed has changed; long live the new creedal nation!

  11. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “who affirms America, who affirms our traditions, who affirms hope and liberty”

    The left and perhaps 25% of Americans do not affirm America. Such as Chris Rock, who tweeted: “Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks”

    So many Americans have been seduced by the lies of the left, which seeks to overthrow through the subversion of perspective. Declaring America to be a country built upon slavery, racism and genocide.

    The left’s assertions are lies not because those things didn’t happen but because the left ignores the multitude of actions taken in fidelity to our “higher natures”… from Benjamin Franklin’s serving as President of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, formed in 1775.

    To the Constitutional convention where John Randolph Of Virginia settled the heated debate over slavery by stating; “Gentlemen, the question is not whether slavery shall be legal, the question is whether we shall have a union…”

    That slaves being counted as 3/5 of a person was actually a means of limiting the South’s representation in the House of Representatives.

    To the rising abolition movement of the early and middle 1800’s. To the civil war, where 360,000 union dead gave “that last full measure of devotion” to retain a union where slavery could be abolished.

    To the millions upon millions who responded to the civil rights movement and ended the racism that previously would have made an Oprah, Michael Jordan, or Allen West, much less a President Obama unthinkable…

    What was done to the American Indian was regrettable. But neither side possessed the ‘high ground’ on this issue, Indian tribes regularly made war upon each other, their brutality toward each other and white settlers easily matched any white atrocities.

    Had we not formed our imperfect union, America would have been balkanized and no unified force for good would have stood in the way of the Hitler’s, Stalin’s and Islamic fanatics of today.

    Yet none of this matters, nor is mentioned by the left, whose agenda is and always has been totalitarianism with the elite in charge.

    “Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties:
    1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes.
    2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not always the most wise depository of the public interests.
    In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves.” –Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824.

    “Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” – Robert A. Heinlein

  12. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”

    I suspect that many do not appreciate the importance of the underlying premise of those words. The premise is that there is a beneficent creator and that our ‘natural rights’ are unalienable (cannot be taken away) because they are granted to us from an authority greater than shared human opinion.

    In fact, the that presumption of a beneficent creator whose authority exceeds any human opinion, popular or demagogic… is all that stands between us and the tyranny of the popular and/or demagogic whim of the moment because any other premise (and its extending logic) solely rests upon human opinion.

    The UN’s “Universal Human Rights” rests upon shared liberal opinion. Which neither Putin, China’s totalitarian leadership, Islamic fanatics nor any of the ‘criminal mind-set’ respect. They believe that ‘might makes right’ and in the law of the jungle.

    The founding fathers sought to ensure that in America, man made laws would always be subservient to our God given rights. While simultaneously avoiding government approval of anyone asserting what God believed.

    Not to disparage our philosophical indebtedness to Judeo/Christian values but the United States creed is not Christianity, nor any other religion’s tenets but rather the simple assertion that there is a universal, divine and beneficent authorship of our universe and that everyone should be free to pursue their own individual understanding of happiness by whatever path that they may choose, which doesn’t fundamentally intrude upon another’s path.

    Ironically, all that stands between ‘the tyranny of the most ruthless’ and the atheist is the very premise that they reject.

  13. Curtis Says:

    Well stated, GB.

  14. John Hamilton Leibniz Says:

    Over at PJ Media David “Spengler” Goldman offers similar thoughts on the National Anthem, so perhaps it won’t be out of line to offer a paraphrase of a comment I posted there.

    Since this is a special day, let us particularly make this a Rededication Day: when we promise ourselves and each other and God that we will not give up, as so many people (including some of the commenters on this post) seem to be doing in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision, and that we will keep looking for ways in which we can work to keep all the past thinking and fighting in support of the founding ideals from having been in vain. Specifically, important as the upcoming election is, we also need to think far beyond it, and I hope to offer some further thoughts on this subject sometime soon in another venue.

  15. texexec Says:

    I’m not one who easily assigns Divine Intervention in the affairs of men. But it does seem to me that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both dying on July 4th, on the 50th anniversary of The Declaration of Independence was a message from Above that they deserved a “Well Done” for their work in making this country possible.

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    John Hamilton Leibniz: I agree, we need to be in it for the long run. And it will be interesting to see what you propose.

  17. M of Hollywood Says:

    Thank you for the story of honor on the bus, Curtis.

  18. ziontruth Says:

    Happy Fourth, y’all, even across a moat or two of water.

    The whole talk of governments and their responsibility, and that DOI quote about the permission to overthrow a government after a train of abuses, fails to take into account the non-governmental, shadow forces that shape reality today, all over the world.

    You elect a government to do your will; but between those four years, how do you enforce the keeping of the promise? Moreover, how do you keep the public informed in the face of a treasonous media?

    If you’re in one of the member states of the European Union, then your calls for independence from an unelected ruling class in Brussels are not represented by the dominant media outlets.

    If you’re in my country, then the unpopularity of land concessions to the Arabs matters not a whit in the face of an ostensibly right-wing government that is steered by the media and fears the international kangaroo courts more than it values national survival.

    And if you’re in the United States of America, the media is dominantly hard-Leftist as it has been for long, and can be relied upon to be in the tank for hard-Leftist candidates, and even Tea Party candidates are not guaranteed to resist the pressure of the media after being elected (q.v. Scott Brown of Massachusetts).

    The shadow powers, most of all the media outlets, are not addressed by the American Constitution. There is currently no legal way to impose checks and balances upon them; indeed, any suggestion to that effect is decried as “an attempt to curtail free speech.” Thus the crumbling of the social contract, where the state is granted a monopoly of power in exchange for protecting the citizens, goes unimpeded, because the public is either uninformed or, if informed, has no megaphone to its own.

    The formerly free world is fast turning such that nations’ only hope for maintaining their liberty consists in (unjustly) government-outlawed lifestyles and activities. For example, it is illegal in Britain for a citizen to possess firearms, but in view of the mortal danger—such that a citizen can stay law-abiding but become dead—some may ponder whether respect toward that particular law enacted by a government that has broken the social contract (by outlawing self-defense and importing savages from abroad at the same time) is worth it.

    That was just an example. They abound today. They abound, and no Constitution addresses them. Perchance the American Constitution was treading new ground in its day, the late 18th century; but now the newer ground of non-governmental treason, oppression and superstate tyranny has to be addressed.

    By what means do we—citizens of any free state in the world, like the U.S. of A., Israel or the Western European states—overthrow a backstabbing media array and replace it with one that doesn’t serve an inherently anti-national, neo-Marxist, pro-Islamic agenda? I confess I do not know the answer; they can only be forced out, as they will not give up their posts willingly, but bloodshed is to be avoided except in the direst straits.

  19. betsybounds Says:

    Incidentally, re: Geoffrey Britain’s comment on Southern representation, a slave was not counted as 3/5 of a person. Instead, 3/5 of the total population of the slaves was counted. Some would call that a distinction without a difference. I would not.

  20. Artfldgr Says:

    As one gets older ones birthday changes, and becomes a time to reflect on friends lost, and on how many such days you have left. Sadly this is the difference between the birthdays young in one days, where all friends are around, your not old enough to have lost many or any, and your years are assumed so long ahead of you, you certainly do not think how many will i have…

    so in that interest…
    We lift a cup of sadness yet for Auld Lang Syne

    To the countries that were free before us, that became imprisoned, and some who are more free than imprisoned, but not free as they were…

    just so you know i am apropos

    As well as celebrating the New Year, Auld Lang Syne is very widely used to symbolise other “endings/new beginnings” – including farewells, funerals, graduations, the end of a (non-New Year) party or a Boy Scout gathering, the election of a new government, the last lowering of the Union Jack as a British Colony achieves independence and even the closing of a retail store.

    “Civilizations die from suicide, not murder,” and “Of the 22 civilizations that have appeared in history, 19 of them have collapsed when they reached the moral state the United States is in now.” Arnold Toynbee

    In “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” Gibbon identified five reasons why the glory that was Rome is of another day.
    1. The rapid increase of divorce which weakened the family, the foundation of society
    (feminism’s stated goal IS the destruction of family. stated, taught, and kept burning for over 150 years)

    2. A tax burden which crushed the middle class to pay for free food for the plebs and “entertainment” to keep them docile – or bread and circuses (One emperor imported grain from Egypt to feed 100,000 in Rome alone.)

    3. The pursuit of pleasure as life’s highest ambition. Increasingly violent gladiatorial contests.
    (we forget that masturbation is about stimulating your mind, not something else, and deriving self pleasure in that. to prattle endlessly and get no where is the same)

    4. Legions assigned to vague missions. Barbarians at the gates, who were eventually incorporated into the empire and then overthrew it.

    5. The decline of religion – ceremonies without substance. Religion that surrendered its role of guiding the nation’s destiny. (there is no separation of church and state, there is only there be no state religion. Socialism is a state religion)

    “A great nation is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes (and) her consuming wars.” Will Durant

    Do we want everyone from Crispus Attucks (along with Samuel Gray and James Caldwell) to Private First Class Cody O. Moosman (died in the last 24 hours) to have died in vain? to have represented nothing?

    there is enough information from genocide, population control, experimenting on the people with interventions, and on and on to clean house without a gun, if only people would understand what those things would mean if put together and examined.

    41% of all New York City pregnancies end in abortion (they are mostly two races that participate. one of those races has its money taken and so has under replacement level kids, the other gets the money and has many many children, and enough abortions that these extra children keep their population stable)

    Planned Parenthood received $363.2 million in government grants and contracts during its 2008-2009 fiscal year, according to the organization’s annual report. That was up from $349.6 million in fiscal year 2007-08.

    55 Million Americans have been terminated before their constitutional rights could protect them.

    Google has decided to celebrate 4th of July with “This Land Is Your Land”, and of course few remember this: Guthrie varied the lyrics over time, sometimes including more overtly political verses in line with his sympathetic views of communism, than appear in recordings or publications

    Throughout his life Guthrie was associated with United States communist groups, though he was seemingly not a member of any.
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    Robbin, who became Guthrie’s political mentor, introduced Guthrie to socialists and communists in Southern California, including Will Geer. He remained Guthrie’s lifelong friend, and helped Guthrie book benefit performances in the communist circles in Southern California. Notwithstanding Guthrie’s later claim that “the best thing that I did in 1936 was to sign up with the Communist Party,” he was never a member of the Party. He was noted as a fellow traveler—an outsider who agreed with the platform of the party while not subject to party discipline Guthrie requested to write a column for the Communist newspaper, The Daily Worker.
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    Initially Guthrie helped write and sing what the Almanacs Singers termed “peace” songs; while the Nazi-Soviet Pact was in effect, until Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Communist line was that World War II was a capitalist fraud. After Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, the group wrote anti-fascist songs.

    Long live freedom…

  21. Artfldgr Says:

    Chris Rock, who tweeted: “Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks”

    African Americans in the Revolutionary War+

    The Continental Congress was not only presented as a fight for liberty for white colonists. Some African Americans saw the Revolution as a fight for liberty, but their own liberty and freedom from slavery. Others responded to the Dunmore’s Proclamation, and fought for their freedom as Black Loyalists. Benjamin Quarles believed that the role of the African American in the American Revolution can be understood by “realizing that loyalty was not to a place or a person, but to a principle”.
    Regardless of where the loyalties of the African American lay, they made a contribution that is often disregarded, to the birth of the United States. During the American Revolutionary War, African Americans served both the Continental Army and the British Army. It is estimated that 5,000 African Americans served as soldiers for the Continental army,[2] while more than 20,000 fought for the British cause.

    By 1770, there may have been 40,000 or more free African Americans in the Thirteen Colonies. This number may have included runaway slaves, descendants of early indentured servants, and black immigrants from the West Indies.

    Both free and enslaved Africans had served in local militias, especially in the North defending their villages against attacks by Native Americans.

    In March 1775 the Continental Congress assigned units of the Massachusetts militia as Minutemen. They were under orders to become activated if the British troops in Boston took the offensive. Peter Salem, who had been freed by his owner to join the Framingham militia was one of the blacks in the militia. He served for seven years.

    In April 1775 at Lexington and Concord, blacks again responded to the call and fought with Patriot forces. The Battle of Bunker Hill also had African soldiers fighting along the side of the white Patriots. Many Africans both enslaved and free wanted to join with the Patriots, believing that it would either lead to their freedom or expand their civil rights. In addition to the role of soldier, blacks also served as guides, messengers, and spies.

    American states had to meet quotas of troops for the new Continental Army, and New England regiments recruited black slaves by promising freedom to those who served in the Continental Army. During the course of the war, about one fifth of the northern army was black. At the Siege of Yorktown in 1781, Baron Closen, a German officer in the French Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment, estimated the American army to be about one quarter black.

    so i guess some DID enjoy the fireworks, they knew that the principal for which the US was created would lead to their freedom…
    and it did.

    then we have chris rock, working for slavery with a smart mouth and a tiny brain.

    funny, but if you knew the writings of frederick douglas, one would think black americans (who are not all from africa), were intellgent and capable. meet chris rock and his crew… not so much

  22. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    betsybounds,

    Thanks for the clarification. It does matter.

    “then we have chris rock, working for slavery with a smart mouth and a tiny brain. “

    IMO, Chris Rock is an articulate, somewhat intellectually arrogant man. It’s his perspective which is skewed and the ignorance that isolation within his liberal environment maintains, that prevents reevaluation of that skewed perspective. It’s the intellectual certainty that liberalism assumes and the cocoon of emotional complacency liberalism provides, of which his intellectual blinders consist.

  23. Curtis Says:

    There will not be a power that destroys Israel.

    Got it.

    Good.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    Commenter “T” was having trouble getting this comment through the spam filter, and requested I do so. So here it is:

    A provocative post. The question the National Anthem poses in the first stanza is answered in the last. IMO it speaks to the core of our national Character:

    Oh thus be it ever
    When free men shall stand
    Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
    Blessed with vict’ry and peace
    May the heav’n rescued land
    Praise the power that hath made and preserved us, a nation.
    Then conquer we must
    When our cause it is just
    And this be our motto: “In God is our Trust!”
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    May we all keep the faith!

    Happy INDEPENDENCE day!

    [Note from neo-neocon: when I was in school, we sang all the verses, and so we had to memorize them all.]

  25. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    A pleasure to read the post and all the great comments. It gives me a pleasant feeling to be among patriots. A happy Independence Day to you all.

  26. Rose Says:

    I fear for this nation.

    Lies We Can Believe In – Sultan Knish

    “The ObamaCare process involved breaking a long list of rules and laws and then defying the ragged remnants of the system to do anything about it. At every turn the United States was unable to stop a rogue chief executive and his ruling party from trampling the law…. Civil disobedience balances moral absolutes against legal principles. The Supreme Court exists to serve as the final bastion of the law against runaway moral absolutes. But, just as in its showdown with FDR, the Court blinked, and our court, unlike that court, didn’t even at least put up a good fight for the law before backing down. Obama didn’t even have to threaten to pack the court with justices. All he had to do was make it clear that he wasn’t going to follow the law, which forced the law to save face by following him instead.

    The American chief executive has a great deal of power and a chief executive who dons imperial robes is a danger with few precedents. There have been conflicts between the branches, but even FDR made a pretense of bowing to some outside authority. Obama never has, with the exception of the King of Saudi Arabia….”

    We are dealing with a lawless man who is flouting all those laws and founding principles, tossing them in our faces and daring us to stop him. Not just him, but the entire left-wing activist apparatus that we have tolerated and allowed to flourish at our peril.

    Do we have the will to stop them? Or will it just be too uncomfortable to act? All those words, all those principles that have given us the most amazing country and the most amazing system of government in the universe… fragile and fleeting.

    I fear. I wish I felt HOPE but it is not another four letter word. Brave? Some of us. Enough of us?

  27. parker Says:

    “Enough of us?”

    Yes, there are enough of us. Hard days ahead, but at least in Iowa there are enough of us to stop those Illinoisans from crossing over the Big Muddy. We’ll block the bridges and set fire to the stranglers who manage to cross. 😉

  28. parker Says:

    Neo, you are a resource of truth. Your logic and writing style are excellent. I am free, you are free, we all are free; no one can take that away.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLrrBs8JBQo

    It is over wrought, highly emotional, but this is what it all comes down to. Now is not the time to draw the sword, now is time to overwhelm them at the polling booths.

  29. Artfldgr Says:

    Looks like Obama is maneuvering to a war or conflict to start before election, given the election odds on an encumbant when conflict starts…

    the heating up to war was what i said before obama was in office, and now we are on the eve of the start of it if you pay attention to syria, egypt, turkey, iran, etc… (and who gave iran the technology to make a hypersonic missile with anti-missile missile tech?)

  30. Artfldgr Says:

    Das Vierte Reich: German Court Declares Judaism A Crime

    Jews believe that the circumcision of infants is a necessary act; the command to circumcise male children at the age of eight days is the first command that God gives Abraham to mark their covenant; for thousands of years this has been a foundation of Jewish life. To ban infant circumcision is essentially to make the practice of Judaism illegal in Germany; it is now once again a crime to be a Jew in the Reich.

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/06/26/german-court-declares-judaism-a-crime/

    [i would read up on Raphael Lemkin!!!!]

  31. Artfldgr Says:

    Black mobs now beating Jews in New York
    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/black-mobs-now-beating-jews-in-new-york
    [article has links to videos and such]

  32. Don Carlos Says:

    Artfldgr:
    Re Black Mobs: it’s OK, just a little exercise of social justice. That will make us feel better, no?
    I love justice when it is social. The professors told me so.

  33. 32nd Parallel Says:

    Walking around the Washington Monument yesterday evening in the 99 degree heat waiting for the fireworks, I was struck by the sheer variety of races and languages in the people I saw and heard all around me, several hundred thousand strong. It seems that this country still inspires hope in millions, even billions, of people around the world, and this fills me with pure joy and an ineffable sense of “rightness”. Liberty, justice and the possibility of a better life are all the more precious to people who live every day in fear of losing it all.

  34. ErisGuy Says:

    are only as good as the people’s devotion to liberty

    The American people no longer wish to be free, they wish things to be free. Sometime while I was growing up, people stopped raising their own children; stopped mowing their own lawns; repairing their own cars; stopped paying their own bills, preferring instead to hire and be lead by bureaucratic experts.

    The only threat I’d ever faced to this country was the nightmarish threat of nuclear war.

    I never spent more than a couple of hours a year worrying about nuclear war.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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