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Thursday, July 07, 2005

...the United States celebrated the 4th of July as our Independence Day just a couple of days ago. And the Sunday Brunch and Friday Forum both dealt with the holiday but I decided to skip those and was going to go a little deeper. That changed while I was typing this in the morning.

Independence. We generally think of that word to mean freedom. Freedom to stand on our own two feet. And I don't think too many people associate Independence Day with the 4th of July unless they happen to be watching the Will Smith movie of the same name, or are truly into the celebrations around the founding of the United States of America.

Sad, isn't it?

But that's not the point of this blog. The point is freedom, and it reminds me of something I heard on the radio the night of the 4th before falling asleep - what does freedom mean to you?

Is it the right to say whatever you choose in a public forum? Is it the right of women to make decisions as they will in regards to their body? Is it something else entirely? What *is* freedom?

The general population of people would probably point back to the Bill of Rights - at least those who know what the bill of rights contains. But do we really have the right to bear arms anymore to protect our property in this sue-happy society, where even the criminals can sue us if we shoot them while they're robbing our houses? Do we really have the right to free speech when things like the Patriot Act exist, and media reports things so carefully so that they don't get locked out of the White House press room?

Do we really have freedom in the world to move about where we will when there are bombs placed at train stations, subways and buses?

This would have been a radically different entry this morning if I'd not just heard about the terrorist explosions in the London subway system placed by the alleged Al-Quaida Organization of Europe. Doesn't matter who did it though - they're scum. Unknown numbers dead (according to the latest report that I'm hearing right this minute (6 am) off Virgin Radio), scores injured. My heart goes out to all who have been affected - not just personally, but worldwide. No one likes a terrorist, except another terrorist. And it's too bad that they couldn't make their point by blowing themselves up, but that would have no effect, and that wouldn't be the point. It's like they said on "The West Wing" once - a bomb that kills only one person is a waste of a bomb - that's the train of thought.


I wish you all health and safety in your travels, wherever they may be - locally to work, to the shops, or on vacation. This stands for all time. May you be free to do as you wish, to go through your daily lives without threat of retribution or injury...

...unlike some souls in Britain were able to do, just a short bit ago.