Burch: Independence Day Madness

Friday, July 5, 2013 at 12:36pm

As I write this article on Independence Day, I am reminded that “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

While this sagacious saying has been attributed to Thomas Jefferson and various other luminaries, it is actually a rephrasing of John Philpot Curran, who in a 1790 speech on the right of election said: “It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”

Unfortunately, most Americans not only fall far short of eternal vigilance, but are more like unsuspecting lambs being led meekly to the slaughterhouse door to be fleeced, then flayed. While Americans once again praise their particular brand of democracy to the skies this Fourth of July, an altogether obvious problem persists: if more than half the voters are easily deluded and led astray by wolves who don’t even bother to don sheep’s clothing, but nakedly parade their avaricious natures and cruel, self-serving intentions, how is there any hope of having a reasonably just system of government? How is there any hope of peace, or solvency for the masses who invariably pay the price of war after war, while the rich tycoons profit and artfully dodge their fair share of the rapidly mounting debt?

We live in a nation that praises its soldiers for their patriotism and courage, while seldom if ever questioning their wisdom. Is it wise for lambs to fight and die, so that cowardly wolves can prosper? As the Divine Oscar Wilde once pointed out, “A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”

And what about our children, who cannot be expected to know the truth if we fail to teach it to them? Millions of our soldiers were teenagers when they enlisted — children who from the cradle had been taught to believe that their country has noble values and intentions. Well, perhaps most of its citizens still do, but there is considerable evidence that its government doesn’t: the invasion of Iraq on false premises in a failed attempt to grab its oil fields, CIA drones executing people without trials in countries we aren’t at war with (yet) and repeatedly killing innocents who are blithely written off as “collateral damage,” billions of dollars in cash and weapons being lavished on warmongers like Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, etc.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once pointed out, when a nation sows injustice, it can expect to reap the whirlwind, as we did on 9/11. But is the proper response to send our children to fight and die in a bizarre attempt to extract “justice” from the victims of our original national injustices? Or is the proper response to address, correct and remedy those injustices?

While I hate to rain on anyone’s Independence Day parade, and while I value our soldiers’ valor and patriotism as much as anyone, I feel compelled to point out that they are not fighting, being maimed and dying to protect American “values” or “democracy.” If our government had lived up to the stated American ideals of freedom, equality and justice for everyone, we would not be at war in the Middle East, where we have no natural enemies. If our government had honored the fundamental idea of democracy, which is that the people who live in a region have the right to rule themselves according to the wishes of the local majority rather than some foreign power, then obviously the CIA would not have engineered a coup of Iran’s democratically elected government in 1953’s Operation Ajax. Just as obviously, our government would not have plowed billions of dollars in cash and advanced weapons into Israel, knowing the Palestinian majority was being robbed of their land and water at gunpoint by a brutal military occupation, a process that still continues today under the euphemistic label “settlement expansion.”

Democracy ends when military superpowers like Napoleonic France, Nazi Germany, Stalinistic Russia, and today the U.S. and Israel flex their muscles, denying the people who live in a region the right to have a say in their own destinies. The American founding fathers risked their fortunes and lives to free themselves from the British monarchy’s imperialism. I wonder what they would say about our modern brand of American imperialism and its horrendous impact on the lives of native people in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Palestine. How many Iraqis would have ever said “boo” to us, if we had just left them alone and paid the going price for oil (which would have saved us trillions of dollars).

Today, Americans must ask themselves if “freedom” includes the liberty of our government to lie to our children, to train them to fight for a brand of military imperialism they deviously call “democracy,” then send them off to do the bidding of fascists like Bush Junior, Dick “The Penguin” Chaney, Donald Rumsfeld and other like-minded neocons who freely walk the halls of power despite their war crimes. Or must true freedom begin with the truth, meaning that the majority of voters in a democracy must remain eternally vigilant, and always vote with their eyes open, their ears unclogged and their powers of reason engaged? I, for one, suspect the latter.

 

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices

95 Comments on this post:

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/5/13 at 12:53

I'm sharing a post from a friend of mine regarding the 4th:

Patriotism isn't about the superiority of one's country or the dangers lurking inside and outside its borders, about braggadocio and exclusion. True patriotism is about the responsibilities of citizenship, about the ideals that hold us together. It requires mutual sacrifice and inclusion. One of the most patriotic people I ever knew was a young man named Mickey, a friend from my childhood. Mickey loved America so much that he went to Mississippi to register black voters when it was dangerous to do so. On June 21, 1964, Mickey -- his full name was Michael Schwerner -- and two other civil rights workers, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman, were tortured and murdered by local members of the Ku Klux Klan, including the county sheriff. The Klansmen held American flags and sang patriotic songs, but they had nothing to do with America. Mickey was and is the America I know. His love for this nation and its ideals is what I celebrate on days like today. Happy Fourth.

By: Captain Nemo on 7/5/13 at 3:00

Thank you and your friend for the 12:53 post, Blanket.

By: yogiman on 7/5/13 at 3:24

I agree with you on most of your article, Mike, but I disagree with you on much of it. Basically, you're "throwing the stone" and George Bush putting us in war. If your man Barry is so great, why are we still in war? Go back over our government for several decades, Mike; both Republican and Democrat parties.

Have you ever wondered why Jimmy Carter started the Department of Education? Could have been to bring the communist party into our nation by education of our children? Give Ronald Reagan credit, he didn't sell us down the river except on his "few million" illegal aliens citizenship. But what did G. H.W. Bush mean it that "one world government" comment he made? Why did Bill Clinton reduce the size of our services? I've always thought our National Guard was formed to protect our nation from an attack by invaders but they are now being sent into foreign combat on a routine basis.

And yes, George Bush was not one of our best presidents, but at least he was in that office legally.

I imagine I've posted enough about Barry Soetoro's usurpation of office so I won't repeat it now.

The big question today is what's going to happen to our nation tomorrow? The national branch of government has been performing a takeover of control for decades now and it looks like they've almost succeeded.

The only thing that can save our nation today is Americans that want the nation our founders gave us back.

By: Captain Nemo on 7/5/13 at 4:14

Comrade, yogi agrees. LOL

By: dargent7 on 7/5/13 at 5:44

Oh, Christ, yogi, give it up...GW Bush wasn't in the office legally...Can you imagine what you psychopaths would do it if Obama went to the SCOTUS to have his election verified?
And the moron started two WARS...AND ANY PRESIDENT HAS ONLY 4 YEARS TO STOP A FAILURE. Not enough time.

By: yogiman on 7/5/13 at 6:15

How was Bush not in that office legally, dargent7? We know he's a natural born American citizen and meets all other Constitutional requirements. Yet your man Barry refuses to identify himself and he's in that office legally? BS.

Is he even a American citizen, dargent7 or is he still an Indonesian? When did he repatriate and when did he change his name from Barry Soetoro back to Barack Obama?

Do we have an Indonesian in the Oval Office? Really, dargent7, has he ever been an American citizen?

If he was born in Kenya as he advertised for 16 years, when did he become an American citizen? Or has he? Look into the facts that are known, dargent7, and find evidence he's in that office legally.

Sorry, fella, but you can't.

By: yogiman on 7/5/13 at 7:36

Tell me, dargent7,

Why did Barry claim he didn't have a copy of his birth certificate because the Hawaiian government would not allow him to have a copy?

I can understand that issue in regards to a Hawaiian birth certificate; but what did he mean in his autobiography when he made the statement. "I discovered this article, folded away among my birth certificate and old vaccination forms, when I was in high school."

Was he lying? Why? Because he wasn't thinking about running for the presidency?

RE: "Dreams from My Father", Page 26, Last paragraph.

By: Captain Nemo on 7/5/13 at 8:20

Comrade p, yogi has no sense of history or the moment.

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 6:23

Tell me, dumba$$,

If you and your "buddies" are as smart as you think you are; explain to this old fool how your man Barack Obama was born as a natural born American citizen with a British subject from Kenya his father. And on this thought, consider this being born in Kenya as he advertised for 16 years.

Was he lying about his place of birth, or are you all too ignorant to figure this out?

By: bfra on 7/6/13 at 7:24

Brainless blob - You have to have a brain to understand all the proofs you have been presented to show that you are LYING. That leaves you out, but still proves you are LYING to those of us that have good sense.

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 8:13

Sorry, bfra,

But none of you have any good sense. If you did you would understand why the man you consider your president is a usurper in that office. I'm still waiting for one of you to tell me how a man with a British subject his father can be a natural born citizen.

And tell me, bfra (if you're capable of it), why do you think Barry has ordered our military not to fire at an enemy until the enemy fires at them first? Could it be because he had rather his Muslim brothers would have a first shot right before our GIs can take a defensive action?

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 8:35

Tell me, bfra,

What birth certificate was Obama referring to when he wrote in his autobiography; "I discovered this article, folded away among my birth certificate and old vaccination forms, when I was in high school."

Re: "Dream from My Father", Chapter 1, last paragraph.

What birth certificate was he talking about when he said the Hawaiian government would not allow hi to have a copy of his birth certificate.

Why did he ask for one (if he did) when he already had his birth certificate?

By: bfra on 7/6/13 at 8:37

Brainless blob really showing his stupidity this AM!

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 9:37

No, bfra, you're showing yours. But don't feel bad; you're not alone.

But if you're as bright as you think you are, can you tell me what Barry meant when he said he was 'born to a single mom' at a campaign rally in Golden, Colorado in which he declared his mother was not married at the time of his birth?

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 11:25

To show you more of my stupidity, bfra, may I challenge yours? How can we be subject to global warming as Al Gore claims and Barry Soetoro supports that claim when It is July 6, 2013, and the temperature is 68 degrees Fahrenheit and it is only one month from the hottest month of the year?

Can you demonstrate your intelligence and explain that to me, bfra? If you can, I'll consider you're as smart as you think you are.

By: pswindle on 7/6/13 at 11:48

If you do not have an open mind, the truth will not enter. Yogi has completely gone over the edge with President Obama. I will say again, " If one or both of your parents are American citizens, it does not matter where you are born, you are an American citizen." The country that you are born in can or not make you a citizen of their country. I have a friend born in France, She is an American citizen, but she is not a citizen of France. How hard is that. There are plenty of info on the internet to explain this. This is a closed subject, period.

By: bfra on 7/6/13 at 11:55

pswindle - One has to have a "mind" to open first . That is where yogi is left out. Then he wants to bring up global warming and today's temperature here, completely disregarding the Western States. He has proven, he doesn't see any further than the end of his nose & then wants to brag what a good shot he is. :-) A mental case on any subject!

By: Mike Burch on 7/6/13 at 12:32

Blanketnazi2,

That was a GREAT post.. I couldn't agree more, and I consider your friend Mikey to be one of the great American patriots and heroes.

By: Mike Burch on 7/6/13 at 12:39

Yogi,

I have said many times that I don't agree with President Obama's reliance on military power, drones, etc. But he did vote AGAINST the invasion of Iraq. He did end the war with Iraq, and he is trying to end our direct involvement in the war in Afghanistan. He did try to end Israel's settlement expansion in the West Bank, which is necessary if we are to avoid World War III, in my opinion.

As for Jimmy Carter trying to introduce communism by creating the Department of Education, all I can say is that you seem to have lost your marbles. Jimmy Carter is not a communist. He travels around the world doing good works, and that includes monitoring elections to make sure they are democratic, and fair. I have never heard any reasonable person accuse him of being a communist, or furthering the cause of communism. He's a good man, a patriot, and a moderate southern Democrat.

By: bfra on 7/6/13 at 12:43

Mike - A true American can understand all of your 12:39PM comment. A traitor can't!

By: Mike Burch on 7/6/13 at 12:45

pswindle,

I think you're right. And now Yogi is accusing Jimmy Carter of trying to introduce communism into the US by creating the Department of Education! But when did any American pubic school ever portray communism in a positive light? Yogi's "logic" is like adding two plus two and getting the color orange.

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 2:30

Mike,

I don't know your age, but when I was a child we went to our class room the first day of school every year to learn what we would be taught that year. We then went to a privately owned bookstore and bought our books. Every school could teach any subject they wanted after the normal studies like reading, writing and arithmetic. Spelling was one of our studies in reading and writing. And we had civics and history in my classes.

What is the communist party's thoughts on educating communism. All children should be taught the same subject. Communists are educated (taught) to think alike. That went into effect when Jimmy Carter put the Department of Education in place.

Please explain; why are so many of the children of today so ignorant they can hardly read or write?

And unless you've noticed, there's several on this site that finds spelling and sentencing so difficult. Are they in the 1st grade of school?

By: bfra on 7/6/13 at 2:44

Oh Boy! The dumbest poster on the site wants to lecture somebody about school & learning, when he has trouble even spelling c-a-t. Get a clue yogi, you fail everything past pre kindergarten. You have proved that over & over again!

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 2:49

pswindle,

Being a citizen is not being a natural born citizen. Both parents must be citizens of the nation where a child is born to be a natural born citizen of that nation.

Now explain to me how Barack Obama can be a natural born citizen with a Kenyan father? And what makes him a natural born American citizen if he was born in Kenya as he advertised as his birthplace for 16 years? Why has his wife commented about them going through Africa to his homeland of Kenya? Why has he arrived in Kenya and commented about how happy he was to be back home?

And I'll repeat the question I've asked earlier on this board: Why did Obama say; "I found this article, folded away among my birth certificate and old vaccination forms, when I was in high school. What birth certificate was he referring to. And why did he later claim the Hawaiian government would not allow him to have a copy of his official birth certificate?

If he was born in Hawaii, why couldn't the governor order his birth certificate to be shown as he said he would when he went in office to get the issue in order?

Again, whose birth certificate was he referring to in his autobiography if it wasn't his own?

Wake up people. Look into the facts. If you want a man to be your president illegally, you've got him. If you want a dictator as your leader, you've got him.

I can't sympathize with you guys, but I hate what your heirs down the line are getting.

Do a little study, pswindle. If he was born in Kenya as he advertised, his mother could not pass her citizenship down to him because of her age. He was born a British subject. He was adopted into Indonesian citizenship. My question then... has he ever been an American citizen? Do you have an Indonesian citizen in your president chair?

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 2:53

It's funny, bfra, you claim I'm a liar and wrong every time you post on this site, but you never make give iota of proof. Why not, don't you have any? Should everyone just take your word for it? What's to make them know you aren't constantly lying?

By: bfra on 7/6/13 at 3:01

Show all the proof in the World, if the reader doesn't have a brain, like the brainless blob, they don't know what they are reading.

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 3:03

One more point, pswindle.

You made the point that a girl (your friend) was an American citizen born in France. If either of her parents was an American citizen, that's normal under our laws. But there are many nations that will not give citizenship to the child of a foreigner born in their nation. The USA gives citizenship to any child born in the USA along with all the benefits.

Why do you think illegal aliens come here to have their baby? Why wouldn't they want to have it "at home"? Benefits, pswindle, benefits.

And who has given the illegal aliens those benefits? Our legislature.

Who has allowed an illegal contender to usurp our Oval Office? Our congress.

Wake up, pswindle, before its too damn late.

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 3:04

I know what I'm reading, bfra. And I also know what I'm not reading: Facts from you.

By: Captain Nemo on 7/6/13 at 3:09

yogi, is the Communist.

By: bfra on 7/6/13 at 3:10

Nemo - yogi is a LYING COMMUNIST!

By: pswindle on 7/6/13 at 3:57

Mitt's father was born in Mexico. Does that make him a natural born citizen? He tried to run for president. You are a natural born citizen even if you are born in another country if one or both parents are Americans.

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 4:01

Mike,

One point to make: Very few on this site (including you) doesn't seem to know what it takes to be a natural born citizen making you eligible to become president of this nation. Through their feeble minds they think if you are born in a country or one of your parents are a citizen of a country, you are a natural born citizen.

So doesn't that mean any of these children given American citizenship with an illegal alien as their mother are native born American citizens eligible to become president of the USA with they reach the age of 35? Of course I think they might know they have to live in the USA for 14 years to be eligible... but I doubt it.

I have suggested before, but I doubt if any of you have any of you looked to see what the 1st and 3rd sessions of congress meant when they met in 1790 and 1795.

Look into: 1st Congress, Sess. II,Ch. 3 (1790) page 104 and
3rd Congress Sess. II Ch. 21 (1795) page 415 and explain to me what they meant by determining the qualifications to be a natural born citizen.

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 4:20

Look into it a little deeper, pswindle.

Mitt's father and mother were American citizens. Mitt was born in Michigan. Mitt is a natural born citizen.

Mitt's father was born in Mexico as the son of American citizens; thus he was a natural born American citizen. But even if he wasn't a natural born citizen, he was an American citizen, and that didn't take that natural born status away from Mitt.

Did Mexico give Mexican citizenship to children born there with parents from another nation? I don't think so.

Obama's father was a British subject and his mother was a teenage girl who didn't qualify (by law) to pass her American citizenship down to him. Why? Because of her age... whether he was born in Hawaii or Kenya.

The best that Obama could be would be a dual-citizen, certainly not a natural born citizen.

Do a little study in history; why did our founders put that natural born status in our Constitution? So no one with an possible obligation to another nation could go in that office. Why is Obama giving Kenya billions of our dollars? Why is Kenya building a library for him. After four years why hasn't Hawaii, or Illinois, started a library for him?

Check the laws of 1961, pswindle.

By: Mike Burch on 7/6/13 at 4:20

Yogi,

Your writing is far from perfect, so it seems the pot is calling the kettle black. Are you trying to advance the cause of communism by "educating" us with bad grammar?

By: Mike Burch on 7/6/13 at 4:27

Nemo,

I think Comrade Yogi has revealed that he is a communist, by trying to "educate" us (i.e., indoctrinate us) into his goofy ideas with atrociously bad grammar. If he was a true American, he would use good grammar, according to his own logic. Since my grammar is much better than Yogi's, according to his own logic, I am a good American and he is a dastardly communist. And because Barack Obama's grammar is much better than Bush Junior's, Barack Obama must be a good American and Bush Junior, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, et al, must be commie spies.

We should thank Comrade Yogi for revealing the communist master plan to us!

Mike

By: Mike Burch on 7/6/13 at 4:30

My father is American and my mother is English. Both my sisters were born in England. But they are natural-born American citizens because they have one American parent. The age of the mother makes no difference. So Yogi's argument doesn't hold water. Barack Obama was born to an American mother in Hawaii. So there is no doubt that he is a natural-born American citizen.

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 5:50

Mike,

You may be a good writer, but you're lousy on law and the definition of 'natural born citizen'. You should study the laws a little and learn the qualifications to be a natural born citizen. It takes two to tango, Mike, not just one.

You didn't stipulate why you sisters were born in England. They could be American citizens, but not natural born American citizens with an English mother unless your mother had become a naturalized American citizen before their births.

And no, I'm not a fellow comrade with you guys, Mike, but if you can grasp Barry's idea on his takeover of this nation, maybe you understand communism better than I thought. Are you one?

How about proving Obama was born in Hawaii. I know he's the biggest liar I've heard in many years, but was he lying when he advertised he was born in Kenya for 16 years? If he was actually born in Hawaii, that would make him a helluva liar to believe, wouldn't it? So why couldn't the Hawaiian governor just provide Barry's birth certificate to put an end to Barry's lies?

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 5:52

An interesting post on Egypt's remarks to Obama.

www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=460107004085477/

What does the common citizens of Egypt think of Barry?

By: Captain Nemo on 7/6/13 at 7:24

yogi is the offspring of a hick sheriff.

By: Captain Nemo on 7/6/13 at 7:36

Which common citizen in Egypt, Comrade yogi?

By: Captain Nemo on 7/6/13 at 7:36

Which common citizen in Egypt, Comrade yogi?

By: pswindle on 7/6/13 at 7:43

Yogi,
Go on the internet and look up natural born citizens, please! You'll get your answer. Why did I not think of that before? Age has nothing to do with being a citizen. You are an American citizen the minute you are born to an American citizen or in America. Why do you think the people from other countries want their babies born here in the USA. I'm from around your part of the country, and I have never seen anyone as hard-headed as you.

By: Captain Nemo on 7/6/13 at 7:46

Mike, yogi was turned during the Koran war.

By: Captain Nemo on 7/6/13 at 7:49

pswindle, he has been shown the site many times, but the half a brain he still has is just crap and can not comprehend simple thought.

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 8:21

Thank you for proving my argument, pswindle. Following your suggestion I went to Bing and typed in [natural born citizen].

How about you checking natural born citizen. I'm interested if you'll get a different definition. Or go to:

www.scribd.com/doc/18042838/natural-born-citizen-the-most-conclusive-definition/

Note that it says PARENTS, not parent. As I've said, pswindle, it takes two to tango.

And as I've said before, if Obama was a natural born citizen, he lost that status when he was adopted as a citizen of Indonesia. Once you lose that status, you cannot get it back. If he has ever been an American citizen, did he repatriate his citizenship from Indonesia? We don't know, do we?

By: yogiman on 7/6/13 at 8:23

Where was I at in the Koran war, dumba$$? I'm curious. I must have been asleep when I was there because I've never heard of it.

By: Captain Nemo on 7/6/13 at 9:39

I made my yogi for the day, yogi.

By: Mike Burch on 7/6/13 at 9:53

Yogi,

You are just making up crap and claiming it to be "the law."

There is nothing I have ever read about citizenship that brings the age of the mother into play.

If the law read that a child has to be born to TWO American citizens, then it would take two to tango. But the naturalization law doesn't require a child to have two American parents.

The Naturalization Act of 1790 states that "the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens".

So if a child has either a father or a mother who is an American citizen, the child is an American citizen. My sisters are the children of a citizen of the United States, my father. My mother is English and was not an American citizen when they were born, nor for the next 20 years. But they both received American passports and have always been considered American citizens because my father was an American citizen.

By: Mike Burch on 7/6/13 at 9:58

Yogi,

Barack Obama is an American citizen not once, but twice.

First, his mother is an American citizen, so no matter where in the world he was born, he is still an American citizen, just like my sister, and John McCain, and George Romney ... all of whom were born outside the US. No one has ever disputed the fact that they are American citizens, so why pick on Barack Obama?

Second, Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, and has an official birth certificate to prove it, so he is a natural-born citizen of the US because the law of the land says that a baby born within the U.S. is automatically an American citizen. Hawaii was a state before Barack Obama was born.

You may not like the law, because you don't like having a black president with a funny-sounding name, but the law is the law. And the law clearly does NOT say that a baby must have two American parents, or it would have the word TWO beside the word "parents" or "citizens."

By: yogiman on 7/7/13 at 7:18

I'll readily admit, Mike, I'm not a writer such as you and all of the other posters on this site (except dumba$$, of course), but I obviously know the laws better than you all. And no, I'm not making up crap.

Mike, re-read that law [The Naturalization Act of 1790] you quoted in your 9:53 post. It says "the children of the CITIZENS of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United states, shall be considered as natural born citizens".

Please note they worded it 'CITIZENS', not citizen. So no, one American parent does not give a child natural born citizen status. They are given dual-citizenship, and a dual citizen is not eligible to become President of the USA. So yes, it does take two to tango.

Haven't you ever wondered why the Senate didn't question Barack Obama about his citizenship when Obama raised the questioned about John McCain's eligibility? Why did they decide McCain was a natural born citizen? Because both of his parents were American citizens and he was born in a hospital in Panama where his father was stationed in the U. S. Navy.

So why didn't they question Barack Obama? Was it because they knew both of his parents weren't American citizens? Could it be because they knew he was only a dual-citizen making him ineligible to hold that office?