They say it’s your birthday. Well it’s my birthday too, yeah…..Yes we’re going to a party party…. (The Beatles)


Two Hundred Thirty Eight years after declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain,we have plenty of wrinkles and show signs of aging, and our weight has been redistributed over the years (and continues). We’ve also developed a rather cranky disposition, particularly over the last decade. Maybe it’s the constipation.

But, it’s our birthday and we’re gonna have a good time. We’ll get as much red white and blue stuff as possible, because nothing says freedom from oppression like buying stuff, unless it’s from Hobby Lobby and other businesses, where owners’ religious views on contraception allow them to not have to provide insurance coverage for contraception for their female employees.

Remember when we were younger, and our minds (and hearts) were smaller, and we didn’t demand that businesses serve everyone equally? It was wrong and needed to be corrected. We had another milestone this week– It has been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. Much has changed in our 238 years, and mostly for the better. But forgetfulness often accompanies aging and stress, and lately we seem to have forgotten how to be the United States of America.

The ironically named Citizens United Supreme Court ruling in 2010 and this week’s Hobby Lobby case, have empowered those who seek to define personhood beyond living persons. Moreover, actual individual human people are considered less significant than those claiming personhood.

Like the adolescent who seeks to express independence from adult authority through insolent, obnoxious or sometimes violent or potentially harmful behavior, the reactionaries focus on themselves and claim oppression. This includes the open carry gun toters, who rant about their constitutional rights to protect (or just own guns) while clearly presenting weapons, which are indeed threatening. This is not the essence of independence, nor of the United States of America.

There was a bright spot this week, however, that spoke to the essence of independence and the United States of America. Tim Howard, the aptly named “Secretary of Defense” goalkeeper for team USA at the World Cup, was phenomenal as he blocked 16 shots from our Belgian opponents. Americans love a hero and love individuals. We rooted for our team, but they couldn’t score a goal. Still, we found a hero in the independent performance of Tim Howard. Let’s not forget, while Howard’s skill and determination were singularly executed, it was all for team USA.

When independence is for the greater good—for team USA(and beyond)– then independence is worth celebrating.  They say it’s your birthday. Well, it’s my birthday too, yeah…. we’re going to a party party…..

One thought on “238

  1. Another clever post. Yes, our great nation really is showing signs of age. We’re forgetting what brought us all together as a nation in the first place and let hatred for anybody who is different–whatever that is–guide our politics. It saddens me, but like a lot seniors citizens (and I don’t dare to imply all), I suppose our nation watches too much Fox News. The brainwashing of American. I don’t think the average Joe realizes the power of the Supreme Court. Wasn’t Bush v. Gore a sign?

    A Cynical Progressive (desperate for some realistic governing for a change)


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