Monday, July 03, 2006



July 4th is celebrated as the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, a document signed by men who owned slaves and couldn't imagine women owning property or voting. This country's national anthem celebrates it as "the land of the free" even though we are in the process of lining our borders with members of the National Guard to dissuade the immigration of undocumented workers. Our state budget has lots of items for correctional institutions where we incarcerate lawbreakers who are too poor to afford effective legal representation while educators attempt to teach children without textbooks or supplies. Community colleges and state universities continue to raise tuitions and healthcare services are increasingly a high-priced commodity beyond the reach of many workers.

While we wage war in many foreign countries in the name of democracy, we have lost sight of the real meaning of "government by the people, of the people, for the people." Voters fail to exercise the privilege in record numbers as elections become expensive public relations productions that are often manipulated by special interest groups. Amendments to the Constitution are proposed to ban gay marriages while the Equal Rights Amendment never secured the necessary ratification to be added to the Constitution.

If this sound perilously close to a Dennis Miller style rant, I reserve the right to produce pieces of strong opinion on any Federal holiday. Otherwise, I will keep to the stated purpose of this blog: the joys of writing.

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