July Fourth, a day for serious thought

Today is the Fourth of July. Independence Day. Birthday of the nation, in the hearts of many.

So. What is going on here in the land of the free and the home of the brave, now, today, on this most auspicious and — surely in the minds of many — noble holiday?

You are not going to want elaboration, details, footnotes, and all that sort of time-consuming — and no doubt tendentious — explanatory stuff. You just want the facts, ma’am,
and nothing but the truth. So here are a few ledes and headlines from the occasionally somewhat more-than-average-reliable mass media, all from this morning.

  • U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement
    Full story here
  • The grounding of the Bolivian president’s plane feeds talk that U.S. officials are calling the shots.
    Full story here
  • Some lawmakers are skeptical about the value of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs and about the accuracy with which they have been described.
    Full story here
  • Businesses welcome announcement that key provision of healthcare law will not be implemented until after the next election
    Full story here
  • San Francisco protest to target Senator Dianne Feinstein as part of demands for reform of Patriot Act across the US
    Full story here
  • Barack Obama agrees to talks to allay concerns of Angela Merkel, insisting he takes European questions on surveillance seriously
    Full story here
  • Hints surface that NSA building massive, pervasive surveillance capability
    Full story here
  • US government lawyers defended the policy of force-feeding hunger-strikers at Guantánamo and said the detainees would be fed before dawn or after sunset, in accordance with Ramadan.
    Full story here

Imagine how awful that would look if I had dared quote any of the less-prestigious, less-renowned, less-obsequious news outlets, such as

or anyplace like that. Goodness no. And I only put those links up so you could see for yourself how utterly and unredeemably independent such sites are. You wouldn’t want to spend much time at any of them; just stop by one or two, long enough to see how miserably they fail in upholding the dignity of our government and all its friends.

Y’know, if I ever get around to taking seriously that Wendell Berry quote from the previous post

Denounce the government and embrace the flag.

I may have to go back to the one before that, and think about moving down the list, from “tolerate” to… well, I’m not sure yet just where to stop.

And oh yeah. Happy Holiday.


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