Happy Independence Day! *Weekend Open Thread*


Happy Fourth of July, friends! This is such an amazing holiday for our nation, the 239th we have celebrated in our great country.

As we celebrate this foundational, formative holiday, I cannot help but think about our forebears, and what they would think of where this country is today. What would they think of Obama’s numerous Executive Orders, his relaxing of the borders, his granting rights to so many in this country illegally, or Obamacare and its myriad impacts on this country and its citizenry, or the recent Supreme Court decisions? What would they think about the way Congress now conducts itself, like Sen. Reid failing to do his basica duty of passing a budget every year lest it embarrass the President, or Reid’s attacking private citizens from the floor of the Senate? Or the double speak of too many politicians on both sides of the aisle? What would they think of anarchists wanting to disarm police officers in New York City and highlight their point by burning American flags?

And then there is the way in which the media have become a propaganda arm for the President and his party. We don’t need to wonder what they would say about that. We know from Thomas Jefferson himself what he had to say about the importance of the Fourth Estate. Here are just a few of Jefferson’s statements on this matter:

“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.” –Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787. ME 6:57

“The press [is] the only tocsin of a nation. [When it] is completely silenced… all means of a general effort [are] taken away.” –Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, Nov 29, 1802. (*) ME 10:341

“The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.” –Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823. ME 15:491

“The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves, nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.” –Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

“The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers… [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.” –Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632

“Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1786. […] (Click here to read more of Jefferson’s quotes on this topic.)

Uh, yeah – I don’t think we have to wonder what he and the other Founders would think of the New York Times, or NBC, or any of the other mainstream stations or presses these days. “Free” is not a word I would associate with any of them with the exception of a very few true journalists left in this country.

And then there is our Declaration of Independence, for which many, many Americans fought and died, including some of my forebears in North Carolina, including kin who signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence in 1775. Just imagine the courage, the bravery, the determination, and the conviction it must have taken for the Colonies to make that decision to declare their Independence from the powerful British Empire. That they were SUCCESSFUL in that endeavor is astonishing, and continues to awe and inspire many. At least it does me, and I suspect many of y’all here.

But if you can stomach it, check out the responses of some of our fellow Americans to questions related to our Independence. It will make you fully understand how it is that we have some of the elected officials we do:

Yikes. Isn’t that incredibly disturbing? What in the sam hill is wrong with people? I am no spring chicken, but I sure as heck can remember from whom the Colonies declared independence and when! Good grief, and a big sigh, too. This kind of thing explains SO much, doesn’t it?

But I don’t want to leave you on that thoroughly disturbing note, not when there is so much GOOD about this country. The freedoms we hold are precious, and we must protect them. I want to share some inspirational quotes on Freedom (h/t my cousin for reminding me of these). From Brainy Quotes:

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.
Thomas Jefferson

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Abraham Lincoln

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
Ronald Reagan

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
George Washington

I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein

What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man. – Robert Green Ingersoll (Click here for more quotes on Freedom.)

I want to wish you all a very happy Fourth of July, our Independence Day, and my brother’s birthday, as an added bonus! I hope your day and your weekend are filled with patriotism, good food, friends, family, and of course, fireworks.

I want to leave you with one of the most beautiful renditions I have heard of this hymn. The music is beautiful, the video is powerful, and if you download it (iTunes), the proceeds go to Wounded Warrior Project. Oh, and as you can see, one of the performers is former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice. Here is “Amazing Grace”:

Happy Fourth of July, my friends. This is your Weekend Open Thread.


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58 Responses to “Happy Independence Day! *Weekend Open Thread*”

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    Happy 4th of July everyone! http://www.sherv.net/cm/emoticons/flags/smiley-with-us-flag.gif

  2. insanitybytes22 Says:

    Happy Independence Day, Rev Amy! Love the Heinlein quote.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks, Foxy! Glad you like the quote – powerful, isn’t it? Hope you have a great Independence Day!

  3. kinthenorthwest Says:

    Happy 4th to all on here…Bet none of us would be embarrassed in a video like that would we Amy.
    My word who would of thought that the Very Brilliant Condoleeza Rice is also very very talented(Thank You Amy.)
    This is stil my favorite song for me to play It always makes me cry. Sadly this year it made me cry for other reasons.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Happy Fourth to you too, Kin! And yes, Rice is amazing, isn’t she? I think shew as a concert pianist. Anyway, here she is performing for the Queen:

      The rendition of “Amazing Grace: Rice and Baker did just moved me to tears. Beautiful…

      Thanks for the video – and I sure understand why it makes you cry for different reasons now…

  4. helenk3 Says:



  5. foxyladi14 Says:

    Some quotes from John Wayne. ❤

    • kinthenorthwest Says:

      Where are these types of patriotic Hollywood people now

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        There are a few out there – Gary Sinise springs to mind. 🙂

        • kinthenorthwest Says:

          Sinise is my favorite and popped to my mind too. Always watch the DC Memorial concert…

          • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

            He is awesome. In fact, he will be here 9/16 capping off a week with one of his concerts. How cool is that?

            Another one is Rob Lowe, who speaks up to the Libs. There are a few others, but most of them toe the party line, it seems…

  6. helenk3 Says:


    this makes me sad because it is happening

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      We have all seen good presidents and bad presidents in our life times. But I don’t think I ever saw a president that honestly believe does not love this country. I do believe he loves our golf courses.

      • kinthenorthwest Says:

        Yep — like many have been asking —Was hasn’t/isn’t our White House Lit up in Red White and Blue

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks for this article, Helen. Yes, we ALL suffer when the Constitution loses and Big Government succeeds…

      Marge, you said it. And great cartoon, too.

  7. foxyladi14 Says:

  8. helenk3 Says:


    the Spirit of 76

    too many have forgotten , or never learned the meaning of the Declaration of Independence

  9. foxyladi14 Says:

    I agree!! 🙂


  10. helenk3 Says:

  11. helenk3 Says:

  12. foxyladi14 Says:

    One of my favorites. 😀

  13. mcnorman Says:

    Happy 4th!

  14. helenk3 Says:

    watching a panorama of fireworks from my patio. 5 or 6 displays from different places across the lake. awesome. Listening to Yankee Doodle Dandy on my tv. could not ask for a better July 4th.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Oh, how nice, Helen! We had a torrential thunderstorm here, heard some fireworks in the area, but not much. Anyway, glad you have had such a lovely evening. Happy Fourth!

  15. helenk3 Says:

  16. helenk3 Says:


    I love this picture

  17. kenoshamarge Says:

    Daniel Greenfield articulates the foolishness of the confederate flag flap as well as the hypocrisy of the fools flapping their yaps about it.

    Pulling Down the Slaver Flags of Islam and Africa

    A few other things to ban besides the Confederate flag

    The return of the Confederacy was averted in the summer of 2015 when major retailers frantically scoured through their vast offerings to purge any images of a car from the Dukes of Hazzard. If not for their quick thinking, armies of men in gray might have come marching down the streets of New York and San Francisco to stop off for an Iced Mocha Frappucino ™ at a local Starbucks before restoring slavery.

    History will little note nor long remember the tired wage slaves making $7.25 an hour while checking Amazon and eBay databases for tin models of an orange car with a Confederate flag on top. During this courageous defense of the homeland from the scourge of a mildly politically incorrect 80s show,

    Hillary Clinton committed her own unpardonable racist hate crime by saying, “All lives matter”.

    The politically correct term is, “Black lives matter.”

    Even while our own Boss Hoggs in DC and SF are locking up the Duke boys as a symbol of racism, they are loudly arguing that black lives matter, all lives don’t. The proportion that the weight of a life should be measured by race is the sort of idea that we might have associated with slavery. Today it’s an idea that we associate with racial tolerance as we heal our nation’s racial wounds one race riot at a time.


    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Excellent, excellent point. While you have all kinds of people jumping on the Confederate Flag bandwagon, including pro golfers, what these same people ignore is astonishing. Talk abt not seeing the forest for the trees…

  18. helenk3 Says:

    did you ever think you would see political cartoons like these on July 4th in America?


    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Holy moley, Helen – those are powerful and poignant cartoons. Thank you for this. Just goes to show what happens when you put someone in office based on something over which he had ZERO control – his skin color – instead of looking at the content of his character, his associations, and what he said…

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Fantastic cartoons Helen. Thanks for sharing.

  19. helenk3 Says:


    OUCH, this hurts

  20. helenk3 Says:


    white house linked dark money group threatens democrats on eve of nuke deal.

    do not think this is what our ancestors fought so hard to create, and some in this country are willing to give up without a fight

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      No, it is not. It is incredible what Democrats are doing, and being SUPPORTED in doing, by Democrats.

      And then there are all of the people going to Bernie Sanders rallies even though he is nuts. They don’t think our country is Socialist enough. Have they looked at GREECE?? That is where we are heading if someone doesn’t put the brakes on.

      Sigh. Don’t know how this has happened to us…

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I don’t know who I would support if I was still a Dem. The whole party has moved left and old Bernie is about as far left as you can go.

        Many on the left want anyone except the Dowager Duchess of Chappaqua aka Hillary Clinton. So unless they support Crazy Joe Biden, and yes there are people crazy enough to do that, who are they going to support?

        Jim Webb has as much chance as Rick Santorum has on the right. And Shirtless Martin O’Malley is just a joke. So that leaves old lefty Sanders.

        And by the way, isn’t the GOP supposed to be the party of “old, white” people?

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Of course, someone with Jim Webb’s qualifications should be WAY up on the list. But I guess his connections to the military nix him for many on the Left, though his service is one of the things I like abt him. He is the only Dem currently running I would even consider voting for if I was going to cote Dem.

          • kenoshamarge Says:

            If I was still a Dem I would also only consider Jim Webb. He’s qualified, smart, relatively honest and competent. That means he hasn’t a chance in hell.

          • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

            Sad but true, Marge – that is exactly why Webb wouldn’t be the nominee. He is also highly experienced. That alone seems to too much these days…

  21. helenk3 Says:


    I agree with Ted Cruz

  22. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Dang, this monologue by Alfonzo is something else when he talks to his community abt supporting Dems over Reps. He is amazing:

  23. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    US Women just defeated Japan 5 – 2 to bring home the World Cup for the first time since 1999! Woohoo!!

  24. helenk3 Says:


    this turns my stomach. What the hell is happening to my country?

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