Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 5th of July!

It's not so much that we're a day late in wanting to wish those of our audience based here in the U.S. a happy 4th of July, but rather giving it an extra day, or long weekend, we hope to really reflect on the meaning of Independence Day in more profound ways.

We feel it's so important to ask ourselves what does liberty mean? What do the freedoms mean that our founding fathers risked their lives, against all odds to fight for to build this nation? And especially, to remember not only what the Declaration of Independence says, but how it framed the very constitution that so many generations to this day are fighting and dying to uphold to defend.

During the days that the British Crown controlled the continental colonies, Americans were subjugated to pledge their allegiance to one tyrannical King. This king could invade peoples privacy, search and seize property, arrest individuals without charges, hold them without representation, torture them, kill them, and otherwise plunder society in any way he saw fit.

Our country is far from perfect, but one of its greatest attributes is the fact that the nation was founded on dissent of this executive power way back when, establishing rules of law and inalienable rights, where each citizen is created equal under these laws.

Thus the Declaration of Independence embodies a manifesto, a collective fist that slammed down on the court of this king in England and said, 'no, we will not stand another moment to be enslaved by such tyranny!' Free people from that point forward raised their heads up and looked toward America as the shining example of what 'government by the people and for the people' really means.

It's no illusion that dark times have shrouded our system of checks and balances. We are witnessing an executive branch that believes it is all powerful and can freely suspend the rights of privacy and habeas corpus, institute torture and otherwise wage wars around the world, without allowing legislative approval or oversight. With control of the judiciary, (and a complicit, corporate driven mass media) - this small group in the executive branch have effectively seized the reigns of our legislature, and with it our government.

We are therefore 232 years after the Declaration of Independence was inked and signed, almost exactly back where we started!

So, it's time to stand up and write your representatives in congress and the senate, your governors and assembly people, your mayors and town councils, and say 'Yes! to checks and balances in government,' and 'Yes! to granting habeas corpus rights to everyone,' and 'NO to torture of any kind for any reason!'  Because if we don't stand up for those who are arrested and not charged, and not provided proper access to defend themselves in a court of law with real legal support, then who will stand up if this happens to you?

True patriotism is loving your country so much that you have to say the things that have to be said, and take positive, peaceful and proactive steps to guide our democracy back on track.

Happy 5th of July!

Your Hippy Gourmet family

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