Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Thoughts for July 4th...

Once Upon America

What is Patriotism?

Liberties Lost

What should we be celebrating and thinking about for American Independence Day? Cheap beer, fizzy sugar water, bad food, and illegal explosives? Scooter Libby's get our of jail free card for the Fourth? Or, maybe some other things, like taking back from corporatists and tyrants the reigns of government as our founders suggested? We as a nation should declare our own independence from the wreckless overlords of the ruling class and landed gentry of our day and reclaim the spirit of liberty for all people. Here are some ideas on patriotism, nationalism, and the importance of dissent and free speech in a democratic society:

THOMAS JEFFERSON:
"If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."

EDWARD R. MURROW:
“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.”

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING:
“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”

MARK TWAIN:
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

EMMA GOLDMAN:
"Patriotism ... is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit."

H. L. MENCKEN:
"The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair."

SINCLAIR LEWIS:
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."

THEODORE ROOSEVELT:
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS:
"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."

SAMUEL JOHNSON:
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel."

Remember, democracy is not a spectator sport!

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