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Independence for All

bq. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. The photo in the banner you see here today is of a building that stands next to the spot where the World Trade Center towers used to stand. I use this photo today not only because it shows Lady Liberty, standing tall and proud. I use it because the place where it stands represents a time in my life when I stopped taking my country and its freedoms for granted. When I was very young, I understood very well what the Fourth of July meant. My mother would often read to us from the constitution on that day. In later years, she would force us to watch 1776, a surprisingly moving and entertaining musical about Independence Day. The advent of the VCR meant she could play the movie at whim. Which meant that all day long, every July fourth, we would grudgingly sing along with mom: Commitment! The croakers all say we'll rue the day There'll be hell to pay in fiery purgatory Through all the gloom, through all the gloom I see the rays of ravishing light and glory! I felt pride in my country then. At some point, I'm not sure when, that pride waned. In later years the Fourth was more about having parties - it was my grandfather's birthday and each subsequent year brought a bigger, better and louder family gathering. We watched baseball instead of 1776. We craned our necks in the evening gasping over beautiful fireworks, never giving thought to what those fireworks were supposed to be a celebration of. Now that I've renewed my relationship with my country, I no longer take for granted the freedom I enjoy as an American. I am thankful every day that I live in a place that affords me the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as well as the right to complain loudly if I should feel those rights are being taken away. I don't feel that way at all, but the idea that I could go down to Washington, D.C., stand in front of the White House and berate my president if I felt like and not be put to death for it is something that I cherish. Those of you reading this who are Americans, take stock of what you have. Your day is filled with choices. Your life is filled with choices. You can be or not be whatever you want. You can practice any religion you desire, or no religion at all. You can come and go freely. You choose your own destiny. It's not the same around the world. There are countries where the people have to fight every day to try to gain just a tiny fraction of the freedoms that we so often take for granted. Our forefathers stood up to tyranny and look how we have reaped the benefits of that. We should stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone else who wants to stand up to tyranny. In Iran, they are doing just that. And while today is America's Independence Day, a day to celebrate liberty, in order to ensure that our liberties always exist, that our flag will always still be there, we must stand side by side with those in other countries who are fighting for their own liberties. We have 228 years of freedom behind us. There are countries, like Iran, with zero years of freedom. While we live free, they are oppressed. Yet, like our founding fathers before us, the freedom fighters of Iran are rising up against tyranny. They are risking their lives to speak out and fight for their basic rights. What good is our freedom if it is only ours? Regimes that oppress their own people would also oppress us, given the chance. To fight for the people of those countries is to fight for your own country as well. We are all humans and deserve the basic dignities that come with liberty. There is no dignity in a country run by cruel mullahs. Life is not sacred to them. Neither is freedom. But it is to us, and we have the freedom to support those who are fighting for those things. I want to share my Independence Day with the people of Iran. I want to take this day, a day in which I celebrate my freedom, to stand side by side with those who have the guts to take on the tyrants. bq. We cannot sit around and wait for the bureaucracies of the world to bring freedom to WE THE PEOPLE, so we must join forces and unite with all who believe in freedom. When freedom is in danger, it matters little what political leanings or perspectives we hold. We are all human beings and so together we must show our strength through unity and defeat the Islamofascist Terrorists and the regimes who sponsor them as they work hard to divide us. Roger Simon (who is the force behind this post) says: bq. This is not a Democrat/Republican/left/right issue, but about basic human rights. All of us should want to help end a totalitarian regime. And let me emphasize one thing--these young people are not asking for US military assistance. They see that as counter-productive. What they want is the firm diplomatic and economic isolation of the Mullahs by the United States and other countries. They will do the rest. Let's give them a hand! July 9th (18 Tir) marks a symbolic movement against the evil regime in Iran. It is the rememberence of this day: bq. The Students Uprising of July 9th, 1999 was the first popular movement, which showed beyond doubt that killings of Foruhars and writers, not only did not stop the ones who want real change in Iran, but it has made them more determined, when seeing the reformist regime did not even work hard to protect its own friends, let alone guaranteeing the protection of real opposition, as one would expect of a real reformist regime.

The Students were vocal about their demands for change in Iran, and the regime was also very clear in its attack on them. The vigilantes attacked, killed, and wounded the students ,and many of the student leaders were arrested, but Khatami threatened the students to discontinue or get the stick, and some of the student leaders are still in Islamic Republic’s dungeons, have been forced to TV pseudo-confessions, and the like. But even the TV confessions have backfired on the regime, making its image more like that of Savak confessions of this regime’s predecessor, Shah’s regime, which Iranian people still remember. I posted many links about 18 Tir last year, when the blogosphere came together in a big way to support the Iranian students. We need to do that again this year. There are many Iranian blogs now - they will know we are here, standing beside them. Celebrate your own independence by vowing to help those who are seeking the same. Sign this petition to show your support. If possible, attend some of the U.S. rallies listed on that page. Read this site daily to keep with what is happening in Iran. This will be an important week for those in Iran who are battiling for liberty. As we celebrate our own liberties and freedom today, we should take some time to remember those who do not have the things which we so often take for granted. The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches, and we must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time and eternally press forward for what is yet to get. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good. - Thomas Jefferson Our freedom is inextricably tied with the freedom of others. We must help all those who want to face the tyrants as our founding fathers did. In order to truly be secure in our freedom, we must make sure that others are also free. And we must, as a tribute to our forefathers who fought and died so we can live like this, help those who struggle to have what we have. If that means just showing support to anyone in any country that is willing to fight for basic human rights, we must do that. I know you are probably wondering why I've chosen to take this American holiday and spend the time talking about Iran, but I see the two as sum parts of whole. Of course, I will do the usual celebrating today, with the requisite barbecue, fireworks, beer and baseball. But I will not take my freedom for granted and I will not forget that there are others who strive to have a day like this each year, a day to raise their glasses to liberty. Happy Independence Day, Americans. Here is to the hope that someday we will celebrate as one with the rest of the world to mark a time of freedom and justice for all.
Notes: I will be spending a good deal of time writing about 18 Tir this week, as will many other bloggers. You can find out much more about this day right here. Also, I will not tolerate trolls on this post. Not today. Any off topic references or attempts to start a fight will be deleted. Give it a rest for one day. Please.


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Thanks for all you've done this year,Michele,and Happy 4th to All!

Nice post, Michele.
I don't agree on Iran though.
Something is wrong in that part of the world. Two uprisings in twenty years.
Not only do you have to fight for freedom, you have to be right.
It is in their mindset that they are only free under that regime.
The true problem is not enough power to the women.
It is they that can change it all.
It starts with respect for them by their male children. If you can remove their fear, then it can be fixed.
"huff puff ect ect"
Happy 4th one and all.

There's no NYC demo?! What?!

Or is that just a function of the difficulty of getting a permit?


I disagree with you. I would suggest you start with this book Reading Lolita in Tehran then try and say "they feel they are free under that regime."


Thanks for this, Michele, and have a great Fourth!


Excellent post and sentiments. My grandparents were shaped by WWI, my parents by WWII/Korea and me by the Cold War and Vietnam. The events loom in the borderlands between the conscious and unconscious. I grew up hearing from my grandfather about how personally devestated Clark Gable was when his wife Carole Lombard was killed in a plane crash as she crossed the country raising money for war bonds (my grandfather knew CG) but never blamed America/FDR/war for her death, and now watch as many Hollywood celebs go overseas to badmouth this country. A 90 minute political ad/polemic is hailed by some critics as "art" and same critics lambast a 90 minute non-political film made up of vignettes of non-celeb Americans as "corny flag-waving hooey."

And that's what it comes down to. Americans need really to understand the reasons why this country is the most powerful, the most envied, the most hated and to grasp the motivations of those who work for its destruction wherever they reside, overseas or here.

My daughters have all been involved in music since they were young, learning to play an instrument and being part of school bands from elementary through high school. My oldest three attended a high school that has a longstanding relationship with the Marine Corps Band out of Camp Pendleton. They go down to visit the Marines, jam with them, and the Marines musically mentor them and do a lot of instrument repair. Each year the Marines come up to do a joint performance. The auditorium is packed to standing room only as the community looks forward to "Music Americana" each spring. Each person is handed a program and a small American flag as they enter. The finalie of the program is both bands crowded on stage together to perform Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever". You have never witnessed such flagwaving, footstomping, tears streaming, on-you-feet cheering, participation from an audience as during that rousing song. My oldest, Jennifer, standing and playing piccolo with her Marine counter-part during that solo section of the piece, fingersflying tears running down her face.

THAT is America. Contrasted to California Assembly Democrats BLOCKING a July 4th celebration.

And there are lyrics to Stars & Stripes Forever, written by Sousa:

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears 'mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom's shield and hope.
Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.
Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with might endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

The greatest experiment in liberty the world has ever seen. Purchased in blood, preserved again 80 years later with more.

It's my sincere hope that Iran finds it too. And everyone who yearns to be free.

Thank you Michele. And to everyone who comes here, may God bless each and every one of you.

Admin note to Phoenician:

Your comment has been deleted. You have worn out your welcome here. Your IP has been banned. If you come back with another IP, I'll ban that one as well. I asked that you hold off on your crap for just one day and you couldn't do it. You're close to being banned at Command Post as well. Go find another playground.


Great post, thanks! I signed that petition.

BTW, would you mind promoting the previous petition, "True Security Begins With Regime Change in Iran"? I'll send you the link.


M: "Your comment has been deleted. You have worn out your welcome here."

Why not let him speak? What did he say, anyway?

Why not? Because I've been letting him speak for weeks now and he only comes to here to fan flames.

This is MY site, which I pay for and maintain. I do not owe it to anyone to allow them their soapbox, especially when they time and again violate my comment policy. He's had his say over and over; his statements have become the same mantra each time. I will not waste my bandwidth letting someone repeat their crap a million times, especially when what they post is completely off topic of the post they are commenting on.

That's why.

So he was right about this place being just another Little Green Echo Chamber.


Right. Take a look around the other threads and see how much of an echo chamber it is. I've banned three people in four years.

Nice try.

So he was right about this place being just another Little Green Echo Chamber.

Actually, that is a creation of someone with a rather bitter hatred of LGF. I see plenty of dissenting views when I skim the comments over there.

But I guess you need a "this place oppresses dissenting views" fantasy to make you feel better. Oh well.

Did you not understand that I was speaking of the men?
I keep telling my neighbors, the libs, to get fitted for their burkas!
You must fix the MEN, or the women will be under their thumbs.
Nothing says lovin from the oven like a good stoning, huh.

Is that the mural that Yakov Smirnov (sp) had put up? Looks like it. Anyway, he might not have ever given us a decent joke, but he gave us some symbol to rally around.

Happy Fourth to you and yours, Michele. :)

I just read your Comment Policy, as well as the comments on your Comment Policy.

Thank G-d you are being sane and taking a tough line. I'm fed up with the whackdoodles who think along the lines of "I will be as obnoxious as I please > therefore eventually someone will get fed up with me > therefore I will be able to cry that I've been 'victimized and repressed because of my courageous, dissenting views' > therefore my ignorant, idiotic drivel is somehow validated."

Anyone with half a brain knows the difference between honest debate and pointless disruption. A robust anti-troll policy is essential for any site that plans to remain viable. Compare the Free Iran and IraqNet borards: one cracks down on trolls, and the other indulges them. One is worth reading, and the other isn't.