Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What Are Your Reflections And Thoughts This July Fourth?
The Razor : I’ve been diving into Ancient Roman history, and I recognize that the Roman metaphor for America’s decline is a cliché, but sometimes the amount of material supporting it is compelling.
As for this Fourth, I don’t recall another time in my 5 decades when America was this divided. I feel that the fabric of our Republic is rent beyond repair, and what’s worse, few seem to care. Everyone is shouting at each other from behind the mental barricades erected by their ideological leaders, and anyone who dares venture into the no-man’s-land between them gets cut down. Lord knows I’ve tried, but I’ve been met with such vehemence and mindless hatred from people who should know better that it’s difficult to do anything but despair for a moment before returning to my own barricade.
Bring on the barbarians.
GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD : 4 July 1776 fired off a crazy rocking rolling ride that hasn’t stopped ‘stirring things up’ on a global scale.
Advancing arrogance into an art form with a remarkable relentless risque commitment to liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, and laissez-faire values.
America differs qualitatively from all other nations, because of her unique origins, nat’l credo, historical evolution, and distinctive political and religious institutions.
Great Satan is magically especial because she was a country of immigrants and the first modern democracy.
Loud, proud and rowdy – early America forecast future stuff with a provocative lingo that still fits today. “Don’t Tread On Me!” “Liberty Or Death”, “Live Free Or Die”
Great Satan’s superiority of the American xperiment is reflected in the perception among Americans of America’s role in the world. That American foreign policy is based on moral principles is a consistent theme in the American hot diplopolititary gossip – a phenomenon recognized even by those who are skeptic of such an assessment.
This inclination to do right has been virtually unique among the nations of the world – and for this very reason – America has been totally misunderstood. How could a nation so rich, so successful actually, really be so unselfish and so caring?
Unconvincing (and either historically igno – or deceitfully dishonest – either term will do) critics cry Great Satan must have darker motives! America must be seeking imperium – to dominate everyone else, suck up all the oil, to trade and rob blind for America’s selfish purposes.
People from more grasping, less idealistic societies find it nigh impossible to accept that America honestly believes that giving everyone opportunity is the real roadmap for abundance and happiness everywhere – not merely in the magical Great Satan.
Americans honestly believe that securing other people’s freedom is actually like the best guarantee that America can keep her own.
Great Satan does not want to dominate the world. Americans want to live in peace and hope other people will too.
Great Satan will go out into the world, redress errors, stop uncool unacceptable behaviour, to first challenge, then annihilate threats to our liberty.
Creative destruction is Great Satan’s middle name. It is her natural function, for she is the one truly revolutionary country in the world for more than 2 centuries.
She does it automatically, and that is precisely why creeps and tyrants hate her guts, and are driven to attack her. An enormous advantage, despots fear her, and oppressed peoples want what she offers: freedom.
Amazingly, some suspect states, illegit leaders and some people have not yet comprehended that America’s primary intention is to preserve and keep our own land and liberty and all it’s prosperity and that America will do anything and go anywhere to make it happen.
Bookworm Room : I always wonder, on 4th of July weekend, what my community is thinking. They put flags on their houses, attend parades, have picnics and backyard parties, and watch the fireworks. I suspect that few, if any of them, think of this as something other than a three day weekend dressed up in red, white, and blue. And perhaps, after 238 years, that’s exactly the way it should be. Freedom is a way of life, so much so that we can casually celebrate it.
My worry, of course, is that if we take our freedom so much for granted that it simply means a long weekend and a party, we are no longer sufficiently invested in it to recognize how precious it is, and to protect it accordingly. We’ve become like the wealthy woman who wears her diamond encrusted “tennis” bracelet everywhere, without thinking about its value, and then is shocked one day to discover that, while playing tennis, she actually lost it.
When we guard things too zealously, we destroy our ability to engage them. Just as a tennis bracelet that lives only in the safe is useless for the purpose (decoration and pleasure) so too do we destroy our freedom if we guard it with such zealous paranoia we can no longer enjoy its bounty and blessings. But the happy medium, of course, is to use that freedom, all the while being aware that it is a rare treasure and, while it should be enjoyed, it must be guarded as well.
So on July 4th, I enjoy the national party . . . and try to do everything in my power to keep the party rolling along. The alternative, I fear, is a very ugly hangover, either in the Soviet mode or as a part of the Caliphate.
Ask Marion: I wasn’t born in the United States, turned 2-years-old right after we arrived, after my parents waited 7-years for their okay to come. And they made sure we appreciated this country, knew her history and got involved; for they knew that you cannot love and honor what you don’t know or don’t miss. I get choked up and my eyes well up saying the pledge of allegiance, singing the Star Spangled Banner or while watching fireworks to patriotic music… so I’m a mess on the 4th of July weekend.
In 2013 I wrote a piece entitled the American Patriotic Season that encompasses a lot of my thoughts about the patriotic holidays from Memorial Day through Veterans Day that includes suggested activities, that was reposted by request for July 4th 2014.
Our family celebration of this patriotic holiday, as with others, has changed somewhat from my childhood through my children’s childhood, to now… but for as long as I can remember it always included watching the 1942 academy award winning movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, the biography of patriotic songwriter and playwright George M. Cohan starring James Cagney. When we were kids the Million Dollar Movie used to play the same movie for a week, every week, and it was always Yankee Doodle Dandy every 4th. So we always watched it several times each year. We always also attend a live fireworks show somewhere… at the ballpark after an Angels or Dodgers game, at one of the piers or Coronado Island, at a local park after a day of picnicking with friends and family, a few times at some special extravaganza, but we have never missed a year of fireworks…
In the past few years we have added recording and watching the PBS special “A Capital Fourth”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOTut2dTvRk We always take some time over the weekend, no matter where we are celebrating to discuss about a book someone is or has read recently relating to that era. And we always say a prayer for America and our troops at each major meal.
And if we are home, we try to attend the local parade and do something to carry forward the day’s, the weekend’s patriotic spirit through to election day and Veteran’s day. We often decide on and volunteer for a campaign or get involved in a Pac, like Carly Fiorina’s new Pac to go Head-to-Head with Dems’ ‘War On Women’ attack. There are always so many possibilities.
This year we got involved with the Murrieta border protest. Some years we volunteer to feed the homeless and/or visit the Veteran’s Hospital that weekend. Hundreds of courageous U.S. men and women planned and headed down to Mexico on a rescue mission on July 5th to demand the release of Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi. We also bought tickets earlier in the week for Beck’s late July event: “We Will Not Conform”, relating to Common Core and public education and plan to attend one of Trevor Loudon’s SoCal Events in either Corona or Santa Ana on July 12th.
Our wrap for the weekend will be to go to the theater and see Dinesh D’Souza’s America… with as much of the family as we can gather up and then head home to discuss it over a slice of flag cake followed by the readings from our grateful bowl, like we do at Thanksgiving. (BTW… Costco Was Caught Again… This time removing D’Souza’s book ‘America’ from shelves.)
Grateful Bowl: As everyone arrives for dessert, we have each of them fill out a grateful note, to be deposited in a bowl, basket or container. At this holiday it is a note about something you are grateful for related to living in America. After dessert has been served, (with the TV off), we have everyone gather within earshot and have someone draw out the slips of paper one by one and have a designated person read them aloud.
One of my favorite events was always the unveiling of the giant American Flag at the Crystal Cathedral to the tunes of John Philip Souza music at every patriotic holiday; now sadly only a memory and part of history. God bless you all… and God bless America!
JoshuaPundit: Ah, the Fourth. Where I live, I can sit on my deck, look down at the valley below and watch a dozen fireworks shows at once. The smell of cordite and powder mixed with bar-b-cue smoke and the odd whiff of adult refreshment is to me a very American aroma. It’s the smell of free men and women enjoying their leisure mixed with the odor that’s symbolic of what keeps them that way.
Our founders, brilliant men that they were recognized that the republics that had come before in history had all failed, and they did their very best to bequeath us a republic and a Constitution that would avoid the obvious pitfalls. We had an advantage going in because our American Revolution, unlike almost all of the others in history, was not classed based but based on the ideals of freedom. Our isolation by two oceans and the mostly egalitarian nature of American society also helped to preserve the republic even through the wrenching and stress of a Civil War.
Lincoln’s words from that era, that a house divided against itself cannot stand were as true then as they are today, but I think that many of our divisions are superficial and artificially created by a new element..the installation of an established political class. A big part of our division comes from those manufactured chasms in our society being exploited to keep this class in power, luxury and wealth.
At this point, it’s obvious that the majority of Americans know that something’s seriously wrong, although they might differ on what it is and who’s to blame, although even that is becoming more obvious to those who are paying attention and put country ahead of race or party. If I’m right, what’s wrong and who and what are to blame is going to become painfully obvious before too long, that misleading 17,000 Dow notwithstanding.
At that point,we’ll be able to see, I think, if what has usually happened in our history happens again, if the leadership emerges that the country needs.And I certainly don’t mean, G-d help us, Hillary Clinton or Fake-a-Hontus.
That aside, the next two elections will be crucial because they will signal exactly how we will weather the coming changes and the nature of the transition to come. History thus far has had an odd way of presenting our Beloved Republic with challenges to overcome, and thus far we have pretty much managed to have done so, to the point where that old joke about G-d watching over drunks, little children and the United States of America comes to mind.
And while many of our elites would be quite at home in Sodom and Gomorrah until the fire,brimstone and ashes started to fall from the sky and louse up the air conditioning, I think there are still enough righteous and decent Americans for the good will of the Divine Providence that our Founders decided to risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor on to continue, and to carry us through.
Well, there you have it.
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Hope you all had a safe, fun and inspirational 4th of July 2014!!