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Independence Day

By Remy Benoit

Okay, burgers and hot dogs; beer, soda, water even!
Chips, dips, pretzels and pies.
Softball, badminton, swimming, hiking.
Friends, family.
Maybe fireworks.

Starving troops at Valley Forge; ice, snow, cold.
Mud and rat filled ditches in WWI; genocide in WWII; ice, snow in Korea; heat, humidity, rats the size of dogs in Viet Nam; Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan...and on and on.

The world said it was an impossible dream back in 1776: democracy couldn't be done. People couldn't rule themselves without a monarchy, a warlord, an emperor, whatever. A few said they were all wrong and set out to prove it.

Those few borrowed ideas from the Iroquois Confederacy; from John Locke, from hundreds of others. They changed the Lockian " life, liberty, and the pursuit of property" to the pursuit of happiness.

We have reached a time when a few are saying they should have it all; that democracy should be replaced by a plutocracy that is undermining jobs, pensions, health care, and even Mother Nature herself. One of them cannot remember what he said just a few sentences before, let alone yesterday. He wants to be the head man.

"When in the course of events..." takes on new meaning today. It is not just the relationship between 'colony' and mother country, but between countries...when in the course of events we use
drones in the night that cause horrid collateral is about choosing endless war, rather than peace, compassion, is about inadequate is about below standard is about poverty, hunger, racism, bigotry at home and abroad...

This Independence Day...where do you stand? For democracy, for plutocracy; for war, for peace;
for protecting the earth or misusing her; for a blind eye to military rape; for a blind eye to homeless veterans; for a blind eye to veterans with TBI, PSTD, cancers, Parkinsons, diabetes, etc., from what they were exposed to?

Where do you stand on one person one vote, or corporations buying votes; lobbyists buying laws;
PACS buying your country? PACS not giving a tinker's damn for all the blood spilled for democracy?

Enjoy your burgers; enjoy your chips and dips and then give thought to the soldiers who are out there in Afghanistan, in a hundred other places who would rather be home, would rather not have TBI or PTSD. Soldiers who would like you to put it on the line for democracy; who would like you to honor those who have given all for your burgers and hot dogs and ball games.

Once again it is a time that tries citizens souls.
Freedom - or everything to lose?
This 4th of July.

Bill Pullman: Independence Day Speech. The enemy is ourselves; our tolerance of blatant, overwhleming greed; our feeling there is not enough for all when there is, more than enough. The enemy is ourselves who so abuse each other and nature. It is time for a New Independence Day from greed, from hate; a New Independence Day of learning about each other, of not living the "truths" that have been handed down to us, but truths that are our own. Food, clothing, shelter, and love shared would end war; would end the abuse of the planet, and if we see that, if we do that..."we will survive."
Miz' Remy

Your donations help me continue my work with veterans. Thank you so much.

If you have a story to tell, I am here to help you tell it. Your Words, Your Way.

And from Burl Hall, OpEd News at RSN, some serious words that should lead you to some serious thought. Rape as the Foundation of Western Civilization.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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