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Happy Independence Day!

American FlagToday is July 4th. In the United States, this day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence which declared America’s independence from Great Britain. Today is supposed to be a patriotic holiday celebrating our country. People will celebrate by taking to the lakes for boating and swimming, and having cookouts and family gatherings.

As I ponder the meaning of this day, my thoughts drift to SOPA, ACTA, and CISPA, to AT&T and Comcast, to our youth who seem to be the most fearful generation, to our politicians who seem to have forgotten their role is to represent the people, and to the corporations who have usurped power from the people. Each of these threaten our liberties as we know them. September 11, 2001 terrorists attacked this country. Terrorism is a violent means to bring about change. We said we would not allow the terrorist to change us but they won. I have not known independence like I grew up with since September 11, 2001. Now, instead of being confident in our individual independence and freedoms allotted to the people, I feel we struggle each day to maintain those certain unalienable Rights referenced in the Declaration of Independence. And although I am at political odds with the Tea Party and the GOP, as I re-read the Declaration of Independence, I wonder if our government has not lost its way.

when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism

[Source,, The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription]

This brings to mind the Bush tax cuts, the corporate hold on Congress, and the one percenters. As the middle class is beat down, more power falls into few hands and we move more toward a Despotic nation. I feel my voice falls on deaf ears when I communicate with my elected officials. Wwhen your voice is not heard, and votes in legislation fall contrary to what the resounding public appear to favor, how can one feel the words of the Declaration of Independence reflect today’s society?

Today is a patriotic day. It is a day to be celebrated. It should also be a day of reflection. Re-read (or read for the first time), the Declaration of Independence. It won’t take long to read. Read it and reflect upon your life and your government. (And if you don’t want to do that, here are some pictures of women in American flag swimsuits.)

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