My Fourth of July went like this:
Morning - Church in the morning at the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, where lay leader Sandy Cruise spoke about Benjamin Franklin and John Adams and the way our founding brothers were able to transcend differences of opinion and personality to find common ground for a more perfect union. As we drove home, we reflected on the way the founders thirsted after a wide range of experience, knowledge, and expertise - quite the opposite of the current administration, which has shut itself off from anyone and any idea that doesn't support its world view.
Afternoon - Quick trip with my daughter to the sporting goods store's big holiday 25% off sale. Eyed some kayaks, but bought what we went for: an air mattress. Inflated it in the tent (perched in the shadiest spot in our backyard) and spent the afternoon reading, dozing, and nursing the last stretch of a summer cold.
Evening - Watched the Boise Hawks and the Tri-City Dust Devils play Class A short-season ball at Memorial Stadium. The Hawks lost, but the post-game fireworks were beautiful. Last year, visiting relatives in Casper, WY, just a few months after the start of Bush's Blunder, we attended a fireworks show co-sponsored by Clear Channel Communications. Given the Bush ties to Clear Channel and the lingering distaste of the shock-and-awe rained on Baghdad, I felt faintly sullied by the event. But last night was different. These fireworks had been carfeully crafted and choreographed to a wide range of music (Norah Jones?!). They were as artful as they were patriotic.
William Rivers Pitt posted a fine meditation on the beauty, the goodness, and the genius of America at truthout.org yesterday. Have a look here.
Like Pitt, I spent some time with the Declaration of Independence yesterday, and I was re-captivated - as he was - by these words:
... 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.
With those few sentences in mind, can there be any doubt over what we need to do this November?
With no apologies to Lee Greenwood:
I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.
And I'll be even prouder still if we beat Bush and Chen-ey ...