Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home," Edward R. Murrow.

Happy 4th of July to the Americans. Today is the day we take a day off from work, blow things up and pretend to care about our Independence. I say pretend because in the last 6 years, Americans have looked the other way while the shrub has stomped on our civil rights repeatedly, all in the name of "national security." Do you feel more secure? I don't. I know how easy it would be for someone to take another plane. I was married to an air Marshall. We aren't any safer, it is an illusion. Look at the UK, they are fighting terrorist attacks that appear to be planned by people who were thoroughly background checked and were doctors. On September 11, 2001, we said it would never happen again. We would lock down our borders, secure our airlines and make sure that no one could do that again. We said something similar once before, I believe the date was December 7, 1941. We had lived nearly 60 years in relative safety. No one had attacked us, on our soil. We watched with indifference as the rest of the world continued to fight, Israel vs the Palestinians, the IRA vs England, the genocides in Rwanda, and Bosnia.

I have always considered myself a patriot. My family is very patriotic, my mother wears red, white and blue nearly every day. My grandfather served, as did my 3 uncles, my parents were to young to have served, having come of age just before the fall of Saigon. I nearly joined the Marines. But the events of the last 6 years have changed me. I love this country, I hate what it has become at the hands of the current regime. My ancestors were among the first whites to settle this land, my direct ancestor was a Quaker, perhaps that's where I get it.

I am so tired of being told by the conservatives and the religious wrong that I am unAmerican because I don't believe we are doing the right thing in Iraq. I would like to remind them that in the 1700's another group of "dissenters" stood up and said no more. Today we call them patriots and we call them our founding fathers.

Before we invaded Iraq, there was no tie between Hussein and Al Qaeda. Today, as a result of our activities over there, Al Qaeda has infiltrated the country. We have made that situation worse. They didn't want us over there. They didn't want our "help." Our help has created a civil war where thousands of Iraqis are dieing every week, along with our soldiers. Does any one remember that country called Afghanistan? You know, the one that actually DID harbor Al Qaeda. That's right, what are we doing there? Every so often the media throws us a little bone about some small victory. Perhaps so we don't question it too much.

So, what's my point today? I sort of have one. I love this country. I love what the Constitution stands for. I am appalled at what has happened. I am appalled that my fellow countrymen have stuck their heads in the sand while the current administration decides that it's perfectly OK to trample the Constitution, it's just a piece of paper, right? I am patriotic. Dissent is patriotic, it's been said before, ad nauseum, but love of this country and our freedoms have prompted this country to do amazing and brave things. "We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it," Edward R. Murrow. Invading a country with no ties to the people who attacked us is not brave or amazing. I encourage you all to pay attention. Don't let them think it is OK to remove our rights. By doing nothing, by saying nothing, we are allowing that to happen. Get involved. Their are a bunch of organizations, MoveOn is just one. Help support a candidate who believes what you believe. Join their campaign. Volunteer with a campaign or with an organization. Write your congress person. Don't sit idly by and watch our civil rights disappear. If we don't raise our voices, those in power think we're OK with it. I am NOT.

Happy 4th of July, defend this country against its own leaders. If you want to see the special commentary on the eve of the 4th, go check out Keith Olbermann. This country needs more journalist, both in print and broadcast, who are willing to speak the truths that no one really wants to hear. Edward R. Murrow would be proud.

Sorry for the kind of rambling post. Knitting content soon. Here's a small snippet, Tofutsies sock yarn ROCKS. It's even softer after washing. I am working on Yule presents. yes that's right, I'm attempting to get ahead for this holiday season. I'd prefer to NOT stay up until 4 in the morning. We'll see how it goes.

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