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Enjoy Your Nation's Funeral This Fourth of July

For me, the Fourth of July has felt more like a funeral than a celebratory holiday for many years now.

Indeed, the holiday has become an extremely ironic one.

Here we are, celebrating the bravery of our forefathers in creating the world's first modern democratic government, complete with checks and balances and enshrined principles of liberty in its founding document - and we are much less free today than they were in the early days of our republic.

The patriots of the Revolutionary War fought against an out of touch royal government that taxed us without representation. Yet today, taxes are egregiously high and the government finds all kinds of ways to tax us, both rich and poor, either through direct taxation of income or property or "administrative fees" for anything and everything under the sun.

Our elected congressmen and congresswomen lie to our faces during election seasons, promising to fulfill the wishes of the voters they represent - only to turn around and do the exact opposite or nothing when they get in office, more concerned with lining their own pockets with money from special interests than serving the people.

Our mainstream media has completely lost its journalistic integrity. A vital force for making the truth known, our news organizations have largely become partisan propaganda factories or shills for the interests of whoever pays them the most money. Important stories go blatantly ignored and ongoing stories are often filtered to fit the perspective they want to portray. How can normal people with jobs and families to provide for be informed in such an environment hostile to the plain and unbiased reporting of facts?

And not only have corruption and burdensome government degraded our liberty, but with ever-advancing technologies, we are increasingly living in a surveillance state. The Patriot Act, passed in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack, has given the government alarming access to invade our privacy. And with corruption growing ever more rampant, we know the legal authority to surveil ordinary citizens is certainly being abused, and without penalty.

The push to create a cashless society, supported by our self-interested banks, binds our liberty even further - because if the banks know everything you buy, certainly the government can, and will, if they so wish.

Not only would our ancestors not recognize the United States of the 21st century, not even our grandparents or parents recognize it as what it once was, as it has changed so much in such little time. Even I, in my short four decades on this earth, don't recognize it for what it was when I was younger. The move towards consolidated control, censorship, corruption has been drastic and astonishing. We have largely become a nation of sheep, not independent, free people. Our ancestors fought and died for less. Much less. And yet here we are, celebrating...just what, exactly?? In light of these circumstances, Independence Day has become a day for me to remember who and what we once were - but not to celebrate what we are now. I think of the history of this nation, the sacrifices made for liberty and freedom. The boldness of the revolutionary ideals that were fought for. I salute them - and I mourn. I hear the music of The Star Spangled Banner, I listen to its words, and I shed a tear. Because that is not who we are anymore. But I hope and I pray that it is who we may someday yet become, once again - the land of the free and the home of the brave.


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