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The Occasion Formerly Known as Independence Day

What are we even celebrating anymore?

by
Walter Hudson

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July 4, 2013 - 6:00 am
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I should have known better. In a momentary lapse of judgment during which I allowed myself to become sentimental regarding this Independence Day, I searched out a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence and came across the above video featuring several celebrity performers, many of whom may be recognized for their rabid attacks on the principles enshrined within that document. The irony of listening to Whoopi Goldberg recite the long list of usurpations committed by King George, in light of her sycophantic support of a sitting president who stands guilty of many of the same offenses, proves too much to bear.

It got me thinking. On the Fourth of July, what are we even celebrating anymore? I quickly recalled that this cycle of thought has in recent years become a sad new tradition. Rather than a cause for reflection and celebration, the occasion formerly known as Independence Day now takes on a grief similar to that surrounding the anniversary of a death in the family.

In sharing my despair, I risk raining on the holiday parade. But I have to believe I’m not the only one who feels this way. Sure, we’ll go on with our barbeques and fireworks and time away from work spent among family and friends. Yet all the while, in the back of our minds, how can we dismiss the sense of loss when we consider independence as a value?

After all, if barbeques and fireworks were the point of it all, we could conjure up any arbitrary reason for a day off. Instead of the Fourth of July, why not the Twenty-First of March. That was the day in 2010 when the 111th Congress of the United States defied both the expressed will of the people and every sentiment expressed in the Declaration of Independence by passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, a law so damaging to the American pursuit of happiness that its implementation was postponed past the point when President Obama would stand for re-election and has recently been postponed past the point when Congress will face the people in 2014.

While at it, we can also sanctify the Twenty-Eighth of June. That was the day last year when Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts creatively rewrote the law through judicial fiat, turning the individual mandate from a penalty into a tax. He and the majority thus established a precedent whereby the federal government may punish both behavior and lack of behavior at a whim. The Bill of Rights be damned.

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Top Rated Comments   
Mr. Hudson, I read your columns regularly and agree with much you write.

After 20 years in the Marines, including two combat tours, I find myself in a similar state of mind as some of those Japanese soldiers who lived in the jungle for decades after WWII rather than surrender.

On the one hand, determined to fight on no matter the cost.

On the other, deeply disappointed in what my country has become.

"For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected never know" -- note found in the pocket of a dead Marine, Khe Sanh, 1968.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sorry about your illness. However, I would like to offer that dissatisfaction, if not outright despair, is the precursor to all change, and thus to reform.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My wife and I came home from breakfast out this morning to find our new American flag laying beside our flower garden. Guess the 'new string' was U.S. Government made. I looked over at my wife and said, "Fitting for the state of the country...buried with self-made memorial." So I made a trip to Home Depot. True story - probably an omen.

Just when I think we've sunk to the bottom of the abyss as a nation, as I felt last November 6th, our transparently incompetent "mostly openly transparent" President said this, if I understood correctly last week...

[“But what we won’t do,” he said, “is just stand by if our embassy is being attacked or our people are in vulnerable situations.”]

I'm beginning to believe Barack Obama might be mildly retarded, in addition to his unworldly megalomania - how else do you explain that profound ignorance and/or unmitigated gall? President Baghdad Bob Obama?

An apathetic and broken nation that would not only elect but reelect this level of abject stupidity and abysmal failure has nothing to celebrate and much to fear.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (28)
All Comments   (28)
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I have witnessed the tenor of op ed/opinion columns change radically in the last year or two. What had been, for years, common expressions of ordinary calls for redress of grievances in those articles, except for those on the fringes, has become a clarion of alarm amongst even the mainstream. Historians will recognize the first weapon of revolution identified by the saying that no King wields a scepter as mighty as the pen. It is unsheathed and already in combat with the government. The oddity is how the legislature seems oblivious while the executive attacks and counterattacks.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is given to men to suffer ills while ills are sufferable. We are exhausting all patence in the hope of reforming through the civil means yet at our disposal. It would do us and our children well to redouble our efforts on that front. Failing that; Despair not. The countrymen are armed to the teeth and do daily seek advise should civil means fail.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
BBQs and fireworks? Who gets to enjoy those anymore? Don't you know they're illegal in most places?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The only thing that will save what is left of America is a new American revolution. But it will never happen, sadly...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I told ya I isn't a good writer
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Correction: Our "FREEDOM" and "INDEPENDENCE
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mr Hudson,
Great article. The other day being patriotic I looked up "The Declaration of Independence", I knew the intro and preamble but I never read the indictments. I thought, can I write a revised TDI with new and current indictments. And make it go viral. I'm no writer, but I started to list abuses. So low and behold tonight on " Independence Day" (I had to work, got home cracked a beer, had some ribs ready to fire up on the bbq) turn on the computer while waiting for the food. Well I didn't want to go to a political site, just check emails yada yada. Ok... lets see what PJ got say today. Couldn't resist. BAM... I watch Wittle's video.. there's a list. I pull up your article..BAM this is what I was thinking.

So your the pros create a revised 'TDI' with new Indictments as a petition to be signed by your following and sent to congress and White House.
Hey what can we lose.... but are "FREEDOM"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mr. Hudson, I read your columns regularly and agree with much you write.

After 20 years in the Marines, including two combat tours, I find myself in a similar state of mind as some of those Japanese soldiers who lived in the jungle for decades after WWII rather than surrender.

On the one hand, determined to fight on no matter the cost.

On the other, deeply disappointed in what my country has become.

"For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected never know" -- note found in the pocket of a dead Marine, Khe Sanh, 1968.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
General Washington had little to nothing much of a freezing, starving army left at Valley Forge. at that lowest point Americans had lost battle after battle to the world's most powerful army. a nonexistent navy, and a congress running for their very lives. two years later the british were on the run and surrounded by Americans on land and the french at sea.

shucks, we haven't even begun to fight, and fight we will before we lose our country to this pack of slease-balls looking for gov. furnished free stuff. watched an old movie (1944) last night where people were burning their houses, crops and farms ahead of the advancing nazis. now that is serious resistance.

btw, just saw where our kooky kenyan gave away $56 million (this year's total) to south africa for circumcisions. can't open the w.h. to children's tours but can give fortunes of borrowed $$ away to torture their children. why hasn't congress just shut down his check book long ago? we have a whole culture in washington using u$ to fulfill their every wish. opting themselves, their families and staffs, out of obamacare. perks galore 24/7/365. when the time comes, cleaning out this den of thieving lawyers won't be that much of a chore.

that is if we survive the quickly approaching very large, very fast moving comet ison and all the asteroids/meteorites it has disturbed as it barrels right through the center of our galaxy on its way around our sun. it is really close to mars right now and headed inward. n.a.s.a. has been very slow in giving out pix or any other info. on it. probably too busy teaching arabs about their long and glorious scientific past.

things could get much worse in many ways so celebrate, be of good cheer this day, and give thanks for what you have.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Short answer: for Americans, every day is Thanksgiving Day.

Long answer: I am aware every day, more than once a day, when I sit down to yet another fine, large, wholesome, nourishing meal. For me, every day is Thanksgiving Day though I do not pray. Instead, I appreciate the good work that people in our agricultural sector do, and the political system that lets them pursue their self-interest. Please take a look at this chart: http://civileats.com/2011/03/29/mapping-global-food-spending-infographic/
"Less than 7 percent of the money Americans spend goes to buy food, the lowest of any country that keeps such data." India, 35%; China, 33%; Russia, 28%; Latin America (not counting the USA for now) 19% to 35%; Japan, 37%.

I do not forget the wisdom of Adam Smith: "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” I thank them anyway since they let me pursue my interest as they pursue theirs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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