On this occluded independence day, I beg you to read the declaration of independence.

I think it’s a mandatory religious observance for my fictional (mostly) USAians on their high holy holiday, but hey, it won’t hurt you either.

Most of all, remember you’re Americans. Remember the words that make men free and make tyrants quake.

It is our duty, our obligation and our very great privilege to make sure that in the next decade, in the next century, in the next millennium, on Earth or in the far flung stars the words carry on, liberty carries on, and tyrants are powerless against them.

Yes, the danger is great. And we must grow to meet it.

Go and light up the skies with fireworks, so we can see our flag by the rockets bursting in air.

Be not afraid.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776 The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

148 thoughts on “READ IT AND BE BRAVE

  1. Agree. Hillsdale college recommended such. I’ve posted: ‘Read on the net: “Hillsdale College, is asking people to read the entire Declaration of Independence aloud as part of whatever they do on the 4th. ”
    Great idea!’, Suggest others do the same.

  2. Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

    Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

    Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

    Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

    They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

      1. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.

        Thomas Paine

      2. As far as I know, none of these signers ever recanted. None of them went to the British to beg pardon for their treason against the Crown.
        In these days of “cancel culture”, I admire those who have have the courage of their convictions and and are willing to stand their ground come what may. I may not always agree with those convictions, but I have little respect for those who abjectly surrender to Twitter mobs.

    1. The costs are the same today as they were about 250 years ago.
      It’s not how much the price is.
      It’s how much you can get with it.
      Never sell your life cheaply, or for little gain.
      56 men bought the greatest nation in the history of the world with their lives.

  3. I think this is the first time I’ve read the whole thing.

    The detailed offenses against rights sound eerily familiar.

    1. Some of them go back to King John. (Gee, guess what, petty tyrants are going to repeat themselves! How . . . human.)

      1. Magna Carta was one of the documents that Jefferson drew upon in the Deceleration.

        1. That is an unfortunate but appropriate typo. The Deceleration of Independence? Entirely too close to what we have today.

      2. John gets a bad rap.
        Lackland was hated by the nobility, so much so that they were willing to swallow a huge number of poison pills and be bound in turn.

        But from the comfortable distance of centuries, he looks better than most.

    2. Yes, I’ve often skipped over the list of grievances as irrelevant, but, unfortunately, they no longer are. Forbidding his governors from passing laws of immediate and pressing importance–that’s now called nationwide injunctions by the lowest and most petty federal judges. Garrisoning troops in the nation’s capital in time of peace–check. And it goes on. I grew up in a country where these grievances seemed obscure and archaic. It’s so sad to see them relevant again.

      1. Yes and when I was a kid, we had to memorize the Preamble and study the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

      2. “For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.-happened during the lockdown and continues in some states with Democratic Party governors;

        “For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:”-every single fee and cost imposed by unelected bureaucrats at both the Federal and State level;

        “He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws;” -every time they try to impose things like the “Paris Climate Agreement” and UN speech prohibitions on us, among many others;

        “”For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:”-every single administrative agency proceeding for violating rules the same administrative agencies wrote;

        There are of course, plenty more examples.

        1. And they’ve been going on far longer than the 10 years “from the Stamp Act to 1776”.

    3. This one in particular is right on the money:

      “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”

  4. The clause about the ‘neighbouring Province’ has always bothered me. That Province was Canada, you see.

    No, George III did not ‘abolish’ English common law in Quebec. It never was in force there in the first place. He allowed the conquered French to keep their own civil law (whilst imposing British criminal law); just as, in later times, the U.S. wisely and commendably allowed Louisiana to keep its civil law when that state was admitted to the Union.

    It is a paragraph of pure spite and folly in the middle of a brilliant document. Let us be reminded that the Founders were human after all, and only God is perfect.

    1. Things proper when consensual can still be improper when imposed by the force of a tyrant.

      This is maybe on par ‘we are at peace with indians now, therefore war against them was never proper’.

      1. In Quebec, the ‘tyrant’ imposed nothing. He left the people with the laws they had always lived under. How is this an imposition or a tyranny? It isn’t.

        Your parallel therefore does not apply at all.

        1. They were French Laws, therefore tyranny. He left them in their ignorance and injustice.

    2. In context, it’s not so much the “abolition” of English common law, it was the use of local law to establish Arbitrary rule and the expansion of that jurisdiction so as to extinguish the Common Law in other jurisdictions.

      Just as nobody would be concerned if Portland and Seattle want to live in an environmentalist dystopia, but they expanded their effective jurisdictions through foul means and forced their own beliefs on other populations.

        1. And as for the ‘expansion’ of that jurisdiction, the Province of Quebec was a very small part of New France. French civil law used to apply everywhere from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. The Quebec Act of 1774 reduced the area subject to that law. The colonists’ complaint, in this case, was the exact reverse of the facts.

          1. That is incorrect. The Quebec Act did increase the jurisdiction of the Province of Quebec, to include large parts of North America that were claimed by the 13 colonies (by right of conquest, more or less, as a result of their efforts in the French and Indian War, for which the colonials were still paying taxes). The Colonials saw this (correctly) as replacing their suzerainty with a regime more amenable to direct rule by the Crown. It was speculative to say that the Crown intended to use this method to gain direct rule over the 13 colonies, but it was not speculative to say that the Crown intended to rule directly.

            1. Every inch of territory constituting the Province oc Quebec under the Quebec Act was conquered by the British Crown in the Seven Years’ War, of which your so-called ‘French and Indian War’ was merely a minor theatre of operations. The existing colonies had no valid claim to that territory and no ‘right of conquest’, as they were neither sovereign nor conquerors.

              1. You’re not an American, are you Tom? From our point of view, and our starting assumptions, we are correct. We, the colonies, won. The French lost. Britain tried to use the sovereignty of the nation fighting the French as an excuse to lay claim to those territories claimed by the colonies. This is a typical means of chopping off access to resources of your opponent. We didn’t buy the argument.

              2. So claimed the Crown. The United States of America proved otherwise, by right of conquest.

        2. I’ll agree that it’s one of the weaker arguments, because it is speculative. But the Crown did take the actions of which they were directly accused in that clause, and did have the intent to abolish self-rule for the North American colonies.

          1. Whenever BigGov does stuff by fiat, without explaining or allowing votes by the people, of course some people are going to be suspicious. Canada to the Thirteen Colonies was always kinda mysterious, because they never got to do much talk with them as fellow colonies, and Canadian-stationed troops were always coming down to Colonial areas and Doing Things with the Indians, without telling the Colonies or asking them for input. Even the Church of England was held separate, so it was a very weird situation.

    3. I suspect the meat of the matter boils down to:
      Do they have the rights of Englishmen, or not?
      Because if they do, then here are the rules; if they do not, but still have the duties, then they broke their own rules.
      No “unless they’re OK with it” clause.

      1. Yeah, well part of the complaint was that Catholics were not excluded from the franchise.

        Charles Carroll signed anyway. And before he died, Catholics held the franchise in every state and could hold office in several. History can be funny like that.

        1. If that was the rules they were supposed to be living under, then — well, either fix the rules, or they are going to turn around and bite you.

          “We’re just breaking the rules for a Good Thing, but we’re not going to change the rules” is not a good idea.

          1. The rule they wanted was to have localized rules. To complain that Canada also got localized rules is hypocrisy.

              1. I don’t see that the argument requires support. The colonies wanted to be self-governing under their own laws, but one of their specific grievances was that Canada also was permitted to live under its own laws. And as I have said elsewhere, the Province of Quebec as defined by the Quebec Act of 1774 was a small fraction of the size of New France prior to 1763.

                1. That doesn’t actually have much to do with the specific grievances offered.

                  So you have to go from specific complaint, to specific example of why it’s wrong, WITHOUT the many levels of arguable interpretation that isn’t actually argued.

                2. So here’s a question I really don’t know the answer to.

                  Could Quebec Catholics inherit property under English law,.or was it confiscated, like in most of the UK and almost all the colonies? Did Quebec Catholics have the right to own horses worth more than five pounds, weapons of war, bagpipes, etc.?

        2. When one can quote both Darth Vader and screen-St. Thomas Moore, it’s probably a good point.

          “I have altered the deal, pray I do not alter it further” and “when you have cut down every law in England, and the devil turns around on you….”

              1. i.e. When Congress exempts themselves from the laws they impose on the rest of us; that’s a violation of the rules apply to everyone.

  5. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance. Boy, have they ever.

  6. Happy Independence Day. This Holiday was brought to you by Men with Guns. If you’re opposed to Men with Guns, then this holiday is not for you. You probably would have sided with the British.

  7. Happy Fourth of July to all! I would like to remind all to also celebrate Bill of Rights Day on each 15th of December. Without the Bill of Rights, that wonderful negative document, our country would not have lasted this long! Note that when one reads about the Bill of Rights on the Web today the text leads the unknowing into thinking it defines the rights of the individual, rather than walls off the Government. There is a huge difference, one that each of us needs to carefully explain to the unknowing.

    1. Many US Government text books (AP, the four college books I’ve gone through) strongly imply and lean on the understanding that rights are given, not inherent. They don’t flat out say it (at least not the ones I’ve read and used), but the sense is there.

      1. There was debate about passing the Bill of Rights along those lines, that people would think that those rights were granted by government rather than endowed by their Creator. I think the Founders made the right call. Tradition is too easily lost. Much easier to remind people of what the text actually says, “Congress shall make no law…”

        1. That’s also why the 9th and 10th amendments are there – to try to make it clear that the government didn’t grant these rights, and that its powers are limited to only the ones granted to it by the Constitution.

    2. Don’t forget the Bill Of No Rights while you’re at it. Those are the ‘rights’ you DON’T have, because they would require other people to provide them. ‘Free’ health care, ‘Free’ education, ‘Free’ housing…
      Why should I listen to what athletes say about political issues? If I wanted advice from somebody that chases a ball around, I’d ask my dog.

    1. I’m surprised Twitter and Facebook haven’t censored it–not to give them any ideas.

    2. Actually…

      I was just thinking about the ways my answers include both yes and no.

    3. [goes out, hangs flag off front porch]

      Known as? I’ll friggin’ =advertise= it.

    4. “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

      I happen to be in full agreement with both Karl Hess and Barry Goldwater.

  8. In the words of signer Stephen Hopkins, “My hand trembles, but my heart does not.”

  9. I’d like to, someday, rest relax and enjoy some sort of cookout and watching others (that’s important) fireworks. However, it is my custom, it seems, to not only work, but work overtime on this day. That’s alright, though. I do get paid a bit more for that sort of thing. And in 1776, who took the day off?

    The (re)reading of the Declaration is worthwhile. I forget when I/we first read it in full, but it was before “high school.” Then, I am…. “ancient” according to some (even some who are NOT me).

    1. Holy Mother of Freedom did we have the Rockets’ Red Glare and Bombs Bursting in Air (and a soft warm rain to tamp any stray sparks)… if World War Three had happened tonight, I don’t know how you’d tell. No one would have *noticed*!!

        1. Likewise. I suspect the local police were pretty resigned to the fact it was going to be boisterous, fire department likewise. We got the usual “not in the city limits, don’t burn houses down, we’re taking this seriously” but without a burn ban, and everything being very wet? Freedom rang for at least an hour and a half, plus Saturday night’s warm-up rounds.

          1. Forget WWIII, even smaller events locally would have been unnoticeable. More than a few sounds that were “doubt that is a car backfiring, hope it isn’t gun fire”. Latter definitely can happen on the forth (hopefully into the ground or stump). While suburban neighborhood with varying yard sizes (depending on when neighborhood was built), a good portion of the neighborhoods are still COUNTY, where a firearm discharge isn’t necessarily illegal. Ill advised (if identified could result in authority visit with a scolding). Can’t legally hunt in area with firearms by hunting rules. We already see flocks of turkeys during turkey season, surprised the deer haven’t moved in too.

  10. A happy “No more of this carp!” Day to all.

    Remember that this day in 1776 was the beginning – not the end. A long, hard slog lay ahead; as it was, so it is, so it shall be.

    THIS we declare.

    HERE we stand.

    We SHALL see this through.

  11. Boom. Kaboom. Kaboomitty-boom. In red, white, and blue, way up in the sky. Because Eff you is why.

    Happiest of Independence Days to all! Celebrate by being independent. Eat tasty food, wear silly clothes, enjoy sunshine for once (in moderation), all you that live like mushrooms the rest of the year. Wave flags, sing songs, put itty bitty holes in paper targets and make the steel *ring.*

    Be extremely American. Speak the unspeakable truth, own guns and become proficient with them, decry slavery in all its forms, barter and trade with gusto (which is not, as we know, specifically a relative of pesto), accept the risk and responsibility the true freedom brings. Because this is our day.

    Other countries may celebrate their day with military parades and tanks in a line at the capital. We celebrate ours with picnics and fireworks, flags and silly hats. I like our day better.

    1. Canada celebrates with some of the blandest patriotic music ever written.

      1. Canada does not celebrate at all. Canada Day is an orgy of non-celebration in which Canadians dislocate their shoulders patting themselves on the back for not having overt displays of patriotism like those awful Yankees. And there are now widespread calls to abolish it entirely.

  12. “The flames kindled on July 4th, 1776, have spread over too much of the world ever to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism. On the contrary, they will consume those engines, and all who work them.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1823.

  13. I reread it every American Independence Day, have done so for years, and lately have been recommending this to everyone I know. Simply remembering — or learning for the first time — about our unalienable rights and government as a servant, not a master, is the first step in saving and then advancing liberty.

    Many thanks to you for promoting this!

  14. As in 1776, none of us can choose our place in history; only what we do with that position.The signers of the Declaration of Independence… and everyone who fought for that independence in whatever was their capacity, saw what needed to be done and did it. They knew the risk; to lose meant death to them all. Yet they did what they did, knowing they were a part of something much bigger than themselves, and that if they didn’t do what they did, the future would suffer. WE, I dare say,… must now do the same…

  15. Not sure I’m brave… except maybe in the manner of Courage the Cowardly Dog. 😮

  16. “the thirteen united States of America”. May have been the first time that phrase was used.

  17. Being brave is all well-and-good but, given a choice, I’d prefer to be brave a few hundred miles from the action. Fortitude is a virtue but so is Prudence.

    1. I definitely get that and what Patrick’s saying as well. I knew a long time ago I’m not cut out for that kind of action, which makes figuring out what kind of things I’m actually going to be good for should things go south tricky.

  18. “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism”

    And that train gets longer all the time.

  19. “a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism””-an apt description of the Democratic Party’s intent.

  20. Thank you Sarah once again for that lovely uplifting post. I repeat your words to myself when I fell afraid. I remind myself that these people are Louie and Marie Antoinette, the Romanovs, the Ceaușescus. And I almost feel sorry for them then. Almost.

    Also, shameless self-promotion today is my birthday yay and I’m going to hopefully go out to a BBQ later and meet the newest memeber of my family.

      1. Thankyou! Also apologies for the second post that says basically the same thing 🙂

    1. It’s not bad. However, I’ve been taking to singing it as if it really were a beer drinking song by a bunch of guys cheering the nation.

      And you know what?

      It feels RIGHT!

  21. Since my previous comment seems to have been eaten I’ll repost it. Thankyou Sarah for this lovely,

    Also today is my birthday!

    1. yeah, I have pretty much given up commenting since my replies always disappear. So I just read, enjoy, nd move on.

  22. You know what I miss? The pure fun of the 4th. I remember Arthur Fiedler (later John WIlliams [yes, that John Williams] and the Boston Pops doing “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and at least two batches of people on Boston Common or the park along the Charles River would form a kick-line after the piccolo solo. (And a certain family member would always, always start singing “Be kind to your web-footed friends/ For a duck may be some-body’s mo-ther.”) Stuff like that. I don’t remember the obvious grandstanding and political clap-trap, although it had to have existed.

    1. Heck, the only anti-fun I can remember is the Yearly Retelling Of Toddler Foxfier Being Rude To A Related Jerk, and everyone else thought that was great fun. (Story at end, if anyone’s interested.)

      Other than that?

      KABOOM and candy and silly games and get invited to water fights with strangers and parades of anything vaguely cool someone could come up with, the VFW guys belting out songs badly but nobody cared because we were singing badly, too, and the Eagles and/or Fire Department running the beer garden at the fair grounds before the show, and the parade was even bigger than St. Patrick’s day and had been since most of the county was born in Ireland.

      And lots of playing with fire! Failing to spell our names with sparklers! Uncles telling stories about how they got nasty burns being morons 30 years ago, in roman candle fights!


      Spoiler space for boring story.

      You have been warned.

      A jerk “uncle” made a habit of pestering everyone, and was very fond of addressing folks as ‘jackass.’ (this is relevant)

      Decided that, at three, I was a good choice for hassling, and started being obnoxious about where my dad was, to hassle my mom. 4th of July in her home town was a really big deal.

      Supposedly, I let him go on for a while, then turned, looked down what very little bit of nose I have at him like he was the largest idiot ever seen, and said “he had to work, you jackass.”

      To the best of my knowledge, he never spoke to me again, although his wife was very sure to make sure we got invites to everything, possibly BECAUSE that story ended up being told more often than not.

    2. I remember walking to the local football field in Redlands CA and seeing a heck of a fireworks display. I remember the first somewhat ironically named KGB Sky Show that set fireworks to rock & roll as well as standards (KGB is a local radio station, gave the Soviet Hockey team pause when they came to San Diego and were confronted by the KGB Chicken). Today I saw a dozen flag-festooned golf carts parading themselves down the main drag of our little part of town even if the official parade was cancelled this year. I remember a young Lieutenant who volunteered for Officer of the Watch duty on the 4th at Pt. Loma who invited those of us who wanted to come to watch the fireworks over San Diego Bay with a dozen others in privacy and comfort. It was a wonderful blessing to my wife who wasn’t well enough to handle crowds anymore.

      1. > gave the Soviet Hockey team pause when they came to San Diego and were confronted by the KGB Chicken

        Well, probably better than the WKRP carp!

    3. The last thing that those who hate the USA and want to divide it into identity groups that are perpetually at war with each other want is for people to celebrate a holiday whose them is that we are all Americans united in liberty and freedom.

  23. Democrats are using Independence day to denounce the tens of millions of people who voted for Trump as unpatriotic insurrectionists who are anti-American. This isn’t just from the usual openly radical leftists that we all know and loathe, but the alleged “moderates” as well.

    1. You know what upsets them? Ignore them. Or point and laugh.
      The “alleged” has been obvious for a long while. They’re communist. That’s all.

    2. …”denounce the tens of millions of people who voted for Trump as unpatriotic insurrectionists who are anti-American.”

      Probably the saddest thing about leftists is that they think they’re the plucky little rebels fighting against the evil tyrants. When they go the way of the Bourbons, Romanovs and Ceausescus they’ll be genuinely shocked.

  24. Very appropriate for today on a lot of levels… It’s eerie to see how similar the grievances are as well as what the crown’s responses were to peaceful redress of them. Still haven’t worked my way out of this slump yet but seeing this does help!

      1. With or without dance? Either way, I admire the man…

        Come to think of it, I didn’t really let myself sing at full volume until I had $SPOUSE$ firmly nailed down. Probably would be an old, bitter bachelor right now if I had.

    1. “America” is my favorite song from WSS. Well, lots of others vying for second place. Between Bernstein and Sondheim, they could put out a rather good musical. (Removes tongue from cheek.)

      OTOH, right now, my mind is playing “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”.

      We had a right decent party next door. Good food, good company. Had to skip the beer, but two out of three ain’t bad.

  25. We’ve got 1776 playing, right now. We watch it every year. And the kids get more of the quips every year, and understand more of the background and situations every year.

    What they DON’T understand is how others can *not* know this. Or how anyone who lives here can possibly hate this nation.

      1. I suppose I wouldn’t know. I’ve been out of school since ’97, and I’ve got my kids in private school because I used to teach college, and saw the end result of the post-Bush-No-Child-Left-Behind “education.”

  26. So, I thought it would honor the occasion by posting the entire text of the Declaration on my personal FB page. Got one response from someone I thought to be a friend:
    Pedantic much? 😆
    And this is my response:
    This is the 245th anniversary of the formal adoption of our Declaration. I posted the text to honor that. Out of curiosity I looked up the Merriam Webster definition of pedantic:
    Pedantic is an insulting word used to describe someone who annoys others by correcting small errors, caring too much about minor details, or emphasizing their own expertise especially in some narrow or boring subject matter.
    I am so very sorry that I have given offense to anyone by celebrating the Fourth of July this way.

  27. O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
    What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
    O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rocket’s red glare, the bomb bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
    O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
    Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
    In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
    ‘Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
    A home and a Country should leave us no more?
    Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
    Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
    Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
    Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    Day is done, gone the sun
    From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
    All is well, safely rest
    God is nigh

    Fading light dims the sight
    And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
    From afar, drawing near
    Falls the night

    Thanks and praise for our days
    Neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky
    As we go, this we know
    God is nigh

    Good night everyone. I pray you made it through an enjoyable day safe and sound. God Bless you all.

    1. Amen. Once I sang an arrangement of the National Anthem that included all four verses. It was good, very hard, and the audience was a little discomfited by the third and fourth verses.

  28. Happy Birthday to the U.S.A., happy birthday to me. (The cake was not a lie, and delicious)

    My neighborhood was lit up with an unprecedented number of fireworks. Our county has instituted a ban on fireworks to go into effect 7/4/2022. [Multiple bad words redacted] The sky was on fire: a giant middle finger to the clueless pinko aristos.

    We’re going to fight it.

    Don’t just read the Declaration of Independence: Live it.

    Ca ira!

    1. Belated wishes for a happy birthday. I’m sending it back in time.
      And yes, ma’am. We are fighting. We have had enough. Whether it ends in blood or not? (shrugs) THEIR choice, not ours.
      But to quote independence day ( I still like it. Cheesy as hell, but I still like it.)
      “We’re fighting for our right to live, to exist…. “We will not go quietly into the night!

      We will not vanish without a fight!

      We’re going to live on!

      We’re going to survive!” ”
      So say we all. So it will be. Some of us will fall in the fight granted. But that is not important. The important thing is that civilization, humanity and the free and sovereign US will go on.
      So help me G-d.

  29. God gave us freedom. Evil men and women continually strive to take away our liberty.

    Resist the right way. Don’t become the evil we detest.

      1. May it ever be so!!! Galatians 5:1 even states “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (English Standard Version)

  30. Today I saw a woman at the grocery store with a nasty rash right where the mask was. She confirmed that, yes, the mask caused it.

    Still more than 50% masks after two weeks. Cashiers are no longer required to wear masks, the one I talked to said she felt insecure without one. I told her, “That’s the whole point!”
    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

    1. Masks are pretty much gone in Plano; however, Amazon is taking advantage of owning Whole Foods to let you drop off Amazon returns there. Their clientele is still 50% masked at least.

        1. I was down in Costco by Princeton NJ on Friday. All masks. It’s interesting since the masks seem to be regional rather than class based, though all the Indians/Chinese I saw in Princeton were masked and few of the Caucasians. Like most areas that have lots of BLM signs, there are very few, if any, working class black people in Princeton and not many Hispanics, so it’s hard to gauge how that might work out since up here,all 40 miles north, it’s lefty whites and working class blacks that tend to be masked.

          Still, even given the high a—hole quotient In NJ generally, Princeton may well be the a—holiest part of the state, which would tend to put it toward the top a—hole quotient in the world, It’s a combination of academics and Wall Street along with entire developments filled with Chinese Communist Part leader’s bolt holes. The town of Princeton itself is so twee it hurts.

          One way you can tell just how bad it was is that the wife didn’t stop me doing my Basil Fawlty Don’t talk about the war routine. I’m tall enough to pull it off, but not as flexible”e as I used to be so my goose step isn’t what it once was.

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