I celebrate this 4th of July with mixed emotions. In fact, the only way I can stomach the 4th is by celebrating the American that was, not the America that is.

The America that exists today is a far cry from the one envisioned by our Founding Fathers. Freedom has become a disposable commodity under the Bush Administration’s unrelenting assault on the Constitution and the liberties that used to be the foundation for this nation. The Democratic-controlled Congress sits back and allows this to happen, making them willing co-conspirators in the dismantling of the freedoms we once enjoyed as a right.

America is no longer a country admired by other nations. Instead, it is an international bully despised by those who once fought with us as allies.

On this 4th of July, let us remember what we once were and pray that we may, one day, recapture that greatness. As things stand right now, there is little reason to celebrate.


  1. Jay Leno wrote this; it’s the Jay Leno we don’t often see….

    As most of you know I am not a President Bush fan, nor have I ever been, but this is not about Bush, it is about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark.

    ‘The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right?

    The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President.

    In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain’t happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ‘What are we so unhappy about?”

    A. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?

    B. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?

    C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?

    D. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

    E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?

    F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?

    G. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough either.

    H. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

    I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.

    J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.

    K. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.

    L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

    M.. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?

    Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.

    Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don’t have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

    I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

    Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn’t take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad? Think about it……are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the ‘Media’ told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day. Make no mistake about it

    The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn’t have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ”general” discharge, an ‘other than honorable” discharge or, worst case scenario, a ”dishonorable” discharge after a few days in the brig.

    So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans?

    Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by ‘justifying’ them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like OJ. Simpson to write a book about how he didn’t kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way……Insane!

    Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.’ ‘With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, ‘Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?’

    Jay Leno

    God Bless America. The land I love.I am proud even today to be an american. SP
    PS-dang you Doug. You got me to post again…

  2. Scott:

    I hate to burst your bubble but this essay was never written or said by Jay Leno. it’s just another piece of false propaganda circulated via email.

    You can check out the origins on Snopes.Com.

    The piece was, in fact, written by Craig Smith on the ultra right-wing WorldNetDaily.Com web site.

    By passing fiction on as fact you have, unfortunately, proven just the type of problems we have discussed here.

  3. Doug,
    Thanks for indicating the real source. Really the only fact is I’m out of my element here. That isn’t surprising. As far as passing fiction, I think it is a fact that, based on some of the comments I’ve read here,and talking with people,and what little I read, a lot of americans are unhappy. For what reason should we be unhappy? Government? Taxes? Gas? Not me. No matter who is running the show. Am I concerned? Yes, but not unhappy. I’m very happy to be alive and living in this country even with it’s faults on both sides of a government that wasn’t designed to be a two party system. I pray consistently for men/women of character and moral values to be put in decision making power. We’ll all benefit from that. I have only one source to draw fact from. I don’t believe anything I see and only half of what I hear. You do a good job at invoking thought on issues here, although I miss the days when I saw more nature pictures here and less politikin! Love your photos. Let’s see a blog on how to get that PERFECT shot!! btw-Thanks for sponsoring the show at Oak Grove a few weeks ago. Why no pics? Was I too ugly for the muse? S~

  4. The issue here is not whether or not we have 24/7 air conditioning or whether or not we’re fat and sassy with overstuffed bellies.

    We have a corrupt government where lying is accepted as standard operating procedure, torture of prisoners is condoned and spying on Americans is deemed necessary. We’ve lost many of the freedoms that once formed the basis of this nation’s legacy and we’re mired in a war that started when we invaded a nation that posed no immediate threat to us.

    America today is a shamless shell of its former self and one of the reasons we’re in that condition is because people are more concerned about sitting comfortably in their air conditioned homes than they are about getting off their self-serving butts and doing something to correct the problems that confront our society.

    We’re in trouble and bragging about how great we’ve got it is nothing more than a diversionary tactic aimed at ignoring the cancer that is eating away at our nation’s soul.

  5. Regardless of the source, the poll didn’t ask if Americans were happy but rather were they happy with the direction the country is going in. Two very different concepts. I am happy and I love my country, however, I’m not pleased with the direction our country has taken. I’m not happy with our president’s performance. The polling data was taken out of context.

  6. i agree that we are in trouble in more way than one and I don’t ignore that fact. That is why I pray for our leaders to make the right decisions. I’ve taken the stance of Pray and Vote. I would be curious to know what else a person such as myself could do outside of praying, voting, and writing my representatives? I’m sure there are many americans just like me who cannot comprehend the scope of how our government should or shouldn’t operate so what more could we do? I hope with your extensive knowledge that you can help cure the cancer that eats at our nation. As you’ve seen, I’m not that great at politics but I am happy and thankful I live where I can at least give my best effort and live the american dream.

  7. Doug, for some reason (the mind works in mysterious ways) your last sentence (We’re in trouble and bragging about how great we’ve got it is nothing more than a diversionary tactic aimed at ignoring the cancer that is eating away at our nation’s soul.) reminded me of one of my favorite e. e. cummings poems:

    nobody loses all the time

    i had an uncle named
    Sol who was a born failure and
    nearly everybidy said he should have gone
    into vaudeville perhaps because my Uncle Sol could
    sing McCann He Was A Diver on Xmas Eve like Hell Itself which
    may or may not account for the fact that my Uncle

    Sol indulged in that possibly most inexcusable
    of all to use a highfalootin phrase
    luxuries that is or to
    wit farming and be
    it needlessly

    my Uncle Sol’s farm
    failed because the chickens
    ate the vegetables so
    my Uncle Sol had a
    chicken farm till the
    skunks ate the chickens when

    my Uncle Sol
    had a skunk farm but
    the skunks caught cold and
    died and so
    my Uncle Sol imitated the
    skunks in a subtle manner

    or by drowning himself in the watertank
    but somebody who’d given my Uncle Sol a Victor
    Victrola and records while he lived presented to
    him upon the auspicious occasion of his decease a
    scruptious not to mention splendiferous funeral with
    tall boys in black gloves and flowers and everything and
    i remember we all cried like the Missouri
    when my Uncle Sol’s coffin lurched because
    somebody pressed a button
    (and down went
    my Uncle

    and started a worm farm)

  8. I have to echo Mr. St. Lawrence. The Daily KOS already exists, so we don’t need another one taking up Internet resources here. I’m really amazed at the amount of misinformation and moral confusion that gets regurgitated in blogs.

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