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President Obama celebrates 4th of July in true Neo American spirit, rewarding foreign mercenaries for their service

Remember Rome's soldier citizens? American forces now augment their numbers by recruiting foreign legionnaires with the promise of US citizenship. President Obama reportedly spent the Fourth of July in the company of soldiers for hire, hired to commit American war crimes with the advantage that if killed, they wouldn't be tallied as American casualties. On the plus side, this batch also evaded being caught red handed committing war crimes, but ultimately the public does not know what it takes to earn that final prize, behaving like Americans or outwitting Americans.

What’s happy about the Fourth of July?

AYFKM? Even "have a nice day" has more credibility, or have a holiday that's happy. Should our national day of flag waving, specifically OUR celebration of patriotism as citizens of an ever broadening, ever more savage repressive empire, remind us to be happy? How about, don't cry? Over the past week, as neighbors stood curbside to thank the firefighters returning from the Waldo Canyon Fire, they waved flags and wore red white and blue, because, it's the only thing Americans know to wave I guess. What does it mean, thanking firefighters with American flags? Competence and bravery are American qualities? Heroism is patriotic? We kick wildfire ass? Did we? Because we didn't, as President Obama's disaster zone visit confirmed. Much the reverse. And we're reaping the same cataclysm with our imperial flag planting everywhere.

Fourth of July fireworks: an unseemly American insensitivity to shock & awe?

I forget, do Americans celebrate The 4th of July because America can kick everyone's ass, or because we can kick anyone's ass, be they unarmed, civilian, or collateral; and by remote, and with impunity? Americans celebrate our independence, yet we are not free, while we actively attack others to ensure they're not either. Do you wonder if the American appetite for fireworks owes quite a bit to our never having suffered a home front war? I can't look at these pyrotechnics without thinking that this is what the other end of the gun looks like. We sit protected, watching non-lethal Shock 'N' Wow demos, while for many parts of the world, such explosions terrify, re-fire PTSD, and at the least, remind millions of how they lost their loved ones.

Dear President Obama, your email MailMerge function needs tweaking

When a Codepink blogger offered her public reply to President Obama's "This Fourth of July" email, I thought I'd poke my own fun at passages like "as America comes ever closer to achieving the perfect Union our founders dreamed." But when I examined the email Obama sent me, that laugh line had been scrubbed. Did you know our personal notes from the president were indeed personal? It surprises no one I'm sure, to imagine that mass emails would be personalized to address the recipient. "Dear Eric, how's the weather in Colorado, etc." It's no great leap then to customize each theme according to subjects of concern to me more than others. Obama knows apparently that I'm not likely to buy "today is a day to reflect on our independence, and the sacrifice of our troops standing in harms way to preserve and protect it." In fact I do not give a rat's ass for a single one of our soldiers standing in harm's way. Although we have only guesstimated body counts to go on, obviously 99% of that harm flows the other way. Soldiers who resist orders to keep heaping harm on innocents is who I care about. Fighting for America's freedom begins at home. Let any citizen try to petition his government for redress and he'll see exactly whose side the soldiers are on. My personal 4th of July email from the president does mention our soldiers and their sacrifice, but adds another emphasis: That sacrifice is shared with husbands and wives, with sons and daughters, with fathers and mothers, who are asked to wait at home as their loved ones protect our nation. Their heroism, too, has helped pave the path of our freedom. Now where did the White House Mail Merge function get its wires crossed on that one? If there are Americans about whom I care less than the GIs, it's the parents who couldn't give them better advice. Theirs was no heroism at all, it was go with the flow. Stuck hoping their child escapes unscathed is their just due. Mothers who raised their boy to be a soldier, did it for Charles Darwin. Neither do I care to honor those military wives furiously praying for stateside widowhood and a $100,000 insurance payoff. Clearly my Obama message was intended to inspire a flag-drapper. How many variation of the Obama 4th of July email do you suppose went around? I hesitate to wonder what my personal email from Obama would look like if indeed he had my number. I am hoping to avoid "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!"

Patriotic man: insolence v. character

"...by patriotic man I do not mean him who measures his country's greatness by the extent of her territory, the size of her armies, the strength of her fleets, or even by the insolence with which she tramples upon her weaker neighbors, but him who knows that the true greatness of a nation, as of a man, depends upon its character, its sense of justice, its self-restraint, its magnanimity, in a word upon its possession of those qualities which distinguish George Washington from the prize-fighter the highest type of man from the highest type of beast." --Moorfield Storey, Anti-Imperialist League, 1898

Does Florida celebrate the 4th of July?

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA- I'm looking forward to observing how Floridians celebrate the Fourth of July. During our nation's War of Independence, La Florida fought on the side of the Brits. The territories were traded from Spain to comprise the king's 14th and 15th colonies, and they declared nothing in 1776, except to quarter British Forces. Later of course Florida seceded with the South to keep from having to share slave labor profits with the Union. I would not begrudge bygones if Florida in present times didn't remain so famously conservative. The sunburned state is full of retirees hoarding their riches, Disney fascists, and former Batista Cubans who long to see the mob and feudal sugar cane plantations restored to Cuba. Which descendant of any of these presumes to wave the Stars and Stripes tomorrow in the name of what America says it's about?

Fort Carson’s boot on your 4th of July

I just love the Gazette's headline on their July 4th front page: POST IS KEEPING TABS ON ITS 'BOOTPRINT'. Is it a cute eco play on words, or an ironic malapropism? About collateral damage, Rumsfeld famously said the US doesn't do body counts. I am reminded of course of George's Orwell's foretelling: "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever." Certainly the PR crew at Fort Carson meant to imply the equivalent of an environmental footprint in Army lingo. But footprint is itself no longer the literal track left behind you as you walk. It has come to mean the space you occupy, or the resources you consume. Or that of your computer or the printer on your desk for example. The portion of surface resources which each item displaces. There must be a semantic fallacy which applies here, a mixed semaphore perhaps? As if you could tell me "put a sock in it." And the Army would add "Put a BOOT in it. HA HA." If the Fort Carson sustainability spin doctors want to call the Army eco impact a "bootprint" instead, it probably is more accurate. Their activities have devastation-unleashing consequences. And as the interviews in the article reveal, the warrior's real passion is in the warfare, hybred-whatsits be damned. On this Independence Day when we're all wishing ourselves "Happy" Patriotism, let's reflect on the full context of Orwell's 1984 passage: Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.

Where’s the independence on Independence Day?

The Fourth of July is celebrated as America's 'Independence Day' but where's the independence? Sure, you're free to get drunk, barbecue up some meat product on the grill, shoot fireworks off dangerously, and run your mouth about why one just supposedly has to vote for McCain or Obama, BUT... Yes, but where's the independence in Independence Day? If you have low expectations don't worry about it OK? But some of us do think about it some and we're still working on obtaining Independence for ourselves, our families, and our communities. There's really little to celebrate yet. Look, Independence Day was a flawed day from the very beginning, and just like our many other very flawed national holidays like 'Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, etc., it just lacks real substance big time. Can't you sense that? The Fourth of July is just a very shallow celebration, with the flag waving and all. Americans do not have independence. No, we have no more independence than a group of serfs under the King once did. We are merely blinder and more ignorant than the serfs were, it seems. We live in a top down authoritarian society, and our lives are ordered around to the most minuscule detail. The not so hidden hand of authoritarianism is everywhere, and it tells us how to think, and what to do. Many of the more daft of us don't see it much though. We're too busy earning the bread, shopping for bread, and shitting to notice how society is actually arranged. We don't quite know why so many of us are miserable? We see the guns, we see the orders, we see the lack of respect, but many of us just can't seem to figure anything out. So some go to church, some take dope, some just smoke their cigarettes. Some sell Mary Kay, some sell real estate, some sell Amway, or do Ebay. Some play the lottery, some play Bingo, some shoplift for their gambling instead. Indian Casino anybody? All this supposedly is a sign of liberty and independence, according to the pundits! Watch TV, play public radio on KRCC... you'll see what I am saying. They'll do their puff pieces about the Fourth. But seriously? Where's the independence on Independence Day? I don't see it. It's just not there.

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