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Well, the fireworks shots were better than last year's but still not great. Although, I have to admit I like the look of them, even if they didn't come out looking exactly right. Practice, practice. You can see the rest of the pictures in the gallery. I thought I ran the gamut on freedom talk yesterday, but today I see that Laughing Wolf is asking: What are you for? Short answer is, I'm for freedom, but you know better than to think I only have a short answer to something. So, what am I for? I'm for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I'm for all men being equal. I'm for choosing; where I want to go, what I want to be, who I want to talk to or walk with. I'm for reading what I want, when I want. I'm for seeing the movies and television shows and playing the games that I choose for myself. I'm for education that doesn't indoctrinate. I'm for free thinking and questioning everything. I'm for demanding answers and accountability. I'm for open source knowledge and sharing ideas. I'm for taking responsibility for actions and words. I'm for letting our children be who they are. I'm for giving kids the freedom to make up their own minds, to guide them towards a path but let them find their own way and accepting them when they stray from that path. I'm for setting boundaries and setting down rules. I'm for honesty and sincerity, openness and truthfulness. I'm for a society built on respect for everyone within it. I'm for treating others the way you want to be treated. I'm for safety and precaution. I'm for security and a life without fear. I'm for protection and deterrence. I'm for facing down enemies and standing with allies. I'm for freedom for everyone, not just my neighbors. I'm for peace. I'm for justice. I'm for countries and people that are for those things as well. I'm for things that have nothing to do with gaining freedom, but are by products of it. I'm for picnics and parades and barbecues. I'm for spending money at huge malls or small stores. I'm for the pursuit of love and the building of friendships. I'm for the information superhighway and unlimited access to all it encompasses. I'm for free speech, free press and free ice cream days at Baskin Robbins. I'm for paid holidays, well-stocked libraries and concerts on the lawn at the local park. I'm for fireworks displays, cheesy movies and rock and roll. I'm for the freedom that allows me to have or do all of these things. I'm for America and all it has afforded me. And believe it or not, I'm for your right to hate America. I'm for your prerogative to not be for anything. I'm for people who are against the things I'm for because that only underscores the freedom that is at the top of my list. I'm for my freedom. I'm for everyone, everywhere eventually having the same.


The 'illegal' displays weren't confined to LI. Panhandle of Florida (state that allows 'showers of sparks', etc), less than 45 miles from private pyrotechnics outfitters inc (aka Alabama), was absolutely ALIVE with airbursts, whistlers, screamers , streamers, mini carnations, sky bombs, bottle rockets and twirlers of all sorts.

It was almost better than some pro displays - because even though the displays weren't coordinated, or contain any really huge pro-type bursts, they were erupting literally everywhere. For hours.

360 degree displays.

waaaay cool

I haven't tried to shoot the fireworks with a digital camera, but want to try one day. Have gotten some great shots on film, but it was interesting. Thanks for the great post, and great answer to my question.

I am for fireworks, freedom and frosty cold beer.

No particular order.

You thus believe, I trust, in the presumption of innocence; habeas corpus; the separation of powers; free speech even for dissenters; the separation of church and state; the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures; the right of the accused to remain silent and to have the assistance of counsel; the right against cruel and unusual punishment; the right of all persons, citizens or otherwise, against deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and the right of all persons to the equal protection of the laws. These are central American principles: the law of our land and the greatest basis for our national pride. So wouldn't you like to see them back in effect? Surely you don't want another four years of Ashcroft, then?

So Ashcroft himself took all those rights away from Americans?

Let's take just one of your examples: free speech even for dissenters.

Last I checked, Michael Moore made over twenty million dollars on F911. And look, MoveOn.org is still standing!

Hi Martha

Did I just hear a knock on your door? Have the black helicopters landed on your lawn?

Jerry Falwell's execrable conspiracy mongering vis a vis Vince Foster was banished to the far far fringies of the muttering rightwing.

But Michael Moore's exercise in similar histrionic vapors vis a vis GW is eagerly embraced by Democrats as "essential truths."

It would almost be laughable to watch such willing self-inflicted lobotomies if it wasn't such downright pitiful, and if the "mainstream" press weren't such willing accomplices.

So if Michael Moore is free to speak, there's no reason to worry about anyone else? I don't actually recall mentioning Michael Moore here. I was in fact most immediately thinking of the couple who were thrown out of a George Bush rally and arrested for trespassing because they wore T-shirts critical of the President. When these things happen, they happen to little people who aren't famous. There are lots of stories. A very little looking can find them.

Let's go back to habeas corpus for a minute: what part of detention without trial is worthy of being called American?

More fundamentally, I'm just floored by the notion that the author of this weblog can deliver a stemwinder of a patriotic oration, replete with praise for tolerance and the rule of law -- a speech I agree with and nearly wish I'd written myself -- while also displaying a Bush campaign logo on his page.


I love the way you cherry-pick the Bill of Rights to support your argument. The 5th Amendment provides for exceptions to habeas corpus in times of war.

BTW, I noticed you didn't finish the sentence "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"... which ends "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." I'm sure you, a freedom loving person, is a strong opponent of the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers practices, right?!

You seem to be a big proponent of the "Rule of Law" (as I am) so you must have respected the latest SCOTUS decision that held that the current administration COULD hold illegal enemy combatants without charging them for a crime.

I thought you believed in the "presumption of innocence", if so why are you taking the word of two protesters, rather than the word of officials when you reference your free speech example?

I am also for 4 more years of Ashcroft, in addition to being for frosty cold beer that I mentioned in my earlier post.

We're probably both doing a bit of cherry picking, as does happen when people get down to talking about the specifics of their grand principles. What puzzles me is that so many Republicans have lately been claiming a monopoly on those principles.

So, listen, I could sit here and talk through JFH's comments point by point, and we might in fact agree on a surprising number of specifics if we talked about individual cases instead of shouting about whether to be "an opponent of" entire public agencies. For example, the Army Corps of Engineers really have done some pretty boneheadedly arbitrary things, but I've got no idea which particular things JFH has in mind.

But I don't want to be a long-term troll over here.

I'm just bemused more than anything else at the way someone can raise a voice in prase of the same generalities I love, and then turn around and back an administration that has caused untold suffering and injustice.

Have a nice evening, all.

Untold suffering and injustice?

Seems to me all we've been told for the past 30-40-50 years how much suffering we've caused.

Cruel and unusual punishment? You mean lethal injection or pithing a baby's skull? Or sucking its brains out?

And I'm pro-choice, always have been.

Bridegam has an impressive list of accusations.

Perhaps she'd like to tell us which of them were NOT Clinton-era proposals or existing law. Since that won't work, she'll tell us that she was against them when Reno was at the switch, right?

> I was in fact most immediately thinking of the couple who were thrown out of a George Bush rally and arrested for trespassing because they wore T-shirts critical of the President.

Freedom of speech doesn't mean that you get to use someone else's stage/event.

Speaking of free speech, perhaps Bridegam will tell us why my barrel of ink should be treated differently than the NYTs.

The Patriot Act, for one. See http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/usapatriot/ .

Most of the Patriot Act was on Reno's desk. They just couldn't figure out how to get it thru.

4 more beers! 4 more beers! 4 more beers!

Four More Beers!...

Two glasses of red wine and I'm willing to chat about something more cheerful too.

For example, we've been listening to the Bruce Springsteen Greatest Hits album at home here lately & I wonder, are any of this group Republican fans of Springsteen, & if so, do they give a political interpretation to his lyrics, & if so, what is it?

More seriously, here are some liberal analysis sites at a level a little different from the polemical:

- OMB Watch
- National Low Income Housing Coalition
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- Electronic Privacy Information Center
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
- and, yes, the ACLU (of which some conservatives, e.g. Bob Barr, are members): for example, their "Safe and Free" campaign.

I don't really want to wrangle. I'm just undertaking this visit in a spirit of cross-pollination or some such thing. I wonder, do the folks who post here visit any of the same news sources in the course of a day as the folks who read Atrios? Or vice versa?