Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Declaration of Independence

An important 4th of July read. One needn't wait until today, of course, but it's certainly a good enough occasion for a review.
Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at 4229 Diggs, is a link to an editorial that's as inappropriate for the 4th of July as could be imagined. I didn't read the entire thing, but I don't need to; it's a topic about which I'm a bit ambivalent. And I'm not faulting the editorial's author--he wrote it yesterday. But the Diggsters voted it, so far, as the number one story on this day, and that tells me a lot about Digg.

I'm not linking to it. If you want to read it, you'll have to find it yourself.

Presidential Power the Greatest Since, Well, the Last Major War

What I find most interesting about this story is the line about Bush being "the most powerful American leader since at least WWII." I got to this story via Digg, which of course implied that the story is about Bush being so powerful, when in fact it's about growing Presidential power in general beginning in the 20th Century. But then, that's just Digg's typical anti-Bush slant.

What struck me most about that particular line, though, is that we're at war today, making the correlation between now and WWII painfully obvious to anyone willing to see it. And, the stakes are just as high, and far more complex (or, at least, we're making it that way, by waging war against an ideology instead of against those States that sponsor it).

That subtlety would be lost, of course, on the Diggsters, but unfortunately on many other Americans, as well.

Politics and the 4th of July

Of course, Cox and Forkum have a relevant cartoon for the 4th. It says something different about the nature of American politics that we should all try to remember--even though I myself don't often do so.

Happy 4th of July!

And, of course, a happy 4th to all Americans.

Let this day serve as a reminder that a handful of heroes can accomplish something remarkable and still unmatched in human history: to create, from nothing, a nation based on a fundamental moral and political principle, that every human being has a right to his or her own existence. Although the Founders' legacy is under attack, it is a testament to their genius that so much of their vision remains intact after centuries of anti-man philosophies that have sought to destroy it.

To the men and women serving overseas, my thanks. You make this day possible, year after year. I hope that each and every one of you sees your service not as a sacrifice for me or any other American, but as your own defense of liberties that you, yourself, hold dear. Let the politicians argue over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin--for yourselves, know that by killing our enemies, you are protecting your values and preserving for yourselves and those you love the freedom afforded by this great nation.

But, most of all, everyone: enjoy, celebrate, eat, drink, and be merry. Today is a day to engage in that which should be the goal of every human being: to be happy, and to bring happiness to those family and friends whom we value the most. The Founders' recognized this in the Declaration of Independence, when they included "the pursuit of happiness" as one of the rights that our government was created to defend. You do no disservice to any American hero by enjoying yourself today, but rather the opposite. You honor them.

And so, off with you now. And again, a Happy 4th of July!

Stop the Presses: Google Celebrates American Holiday!

Yes, it's true. Google has recognized the 4th of July in their logo. I don't know if they've done this in the past, but I'm still steamed over the Memorial Day snubbing. So, recognition where it's due.