Happy Independence Day – July 4, 2013

We’ve had many years of celebrating Independence so this year, let’s include a recognition of the outstanding tradition of political independents that provide so much to this country.  Here are some key independents from my perspective.  Suggest your own in the replies.  Have a great 4th!!! (Click on image for more information on the independent.)
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Senator Bernie Sanders – “There is a war going on… ” The Money Party versus everyone else!!!

Mark Twain

I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.

There must be two Americas: one that sets the captive free, and one that takes a once-captive’s new freedom away from him, and picks a quarrel with him with nothing to found it on; then kills him to get his land. . .

True, we have crushed a deceived and confiding people; we have turned against the weak and the friendless who trusted us; we have stamped out a just and intelligent and well-ordered republic; we have stabbed an ally in the back and slapped the face of a guest; we have bought a Shadow from an enemy that hadn’t it to sell; we have robbed a trusting friend of his land and his liberty; we have invited clean young men to shoulder a discredited musket and do bandit’s work under a flag which bandits have been accustomed to fear, not to follow; we have debauched America’s honor and blackened her face before the world. . .

And as for a flag for the Philippine Province, it is easily managed. We can have a special one–our States do it: we can have just our usual flag, with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones.  Mark Twain, 1901

Eugene V. Debs

In this country, the most favored beneath the bending skies, we have vast areas of the richest and most fertile soil, material resources in inexhaustible abundance, the most marvelous productive machinery on earth, and millions of eager workers ready to apply their labor to that machinery to produce in abundance for every man, woman, and child, and if there are still vast numbers of our people who are the victims of poverty and whose lives are an unceasing struggle all the way from youth to old age, until at last death comes to their rescue and lulls these hapless victims to dreamless sleep, it is not the fault of the Almighty: it cannot be charged to nature, but it is due entirely to the outgrown social system in which we live that ought to be abolished not only in the interest of the toiling masses but in the higher interest of all humanity.

I believe, Your Honor, in common with all Socialists, that this nation ought to own and control its own industries. I believe, as all Socialists do, that all things that are jointly needed and used ought to be jointly owned, that industry, the basis of our social life, instead of being the private property of a few and operated for their enrichment, ought to be the common property of all, democratically administered in the interest of all. Eugene V. Debs, September, 1918

General Smedley Butler

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.   General Smedley Butler, USMC, 1933

Malcolm X

When a person places the proper value on freedom, there is nothing under the sun that he will not do to acquire that freedom. Whenever you hear a man saying he wants freedom, but in the next breath he is going to tell you what he won’t do to get it, or what he doesn’t believe in doing in order to get it, he doesn’t believe in freedom. A man who believes in freedom will do anything under the sun to acquire . . . or preserve his freedom. Malcolm X

Cesar Chavez

Those who attack our union often say, ‘It’s not really a union. It’s something else: A social movement. A civil rights movement. It’s something dangerous.’

They’re half right. The United Farm Workers is first and foremost a union. A union like any other. A union that either produces for its members on the bread and butter issues or doesn’t survive.  But the UFW has always been something more than a union –although it’s never been dangerous if you believe in the Bill of Rights.

The UFW was the beginning! We attacked that historical source of shame and infamy that our people in this country lived with. We attacked that injustice, not by complaining; not by seeking hand-outs; not by becoming soldiers in the War on Poverty. 

We organized!  Cesar Chavez, November 1984

Sojourner Truth, abolitionist, women’s rights activist

You have been having our rights so long, that you think, like a slave-holder, that you own us. I know that it is hard for one who has held the reins for so long to give up; it cuts like a knife. It will feel all the better when it closes up again.

Frederick Douglas, abolitionist

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.

Henry Wallace FDR’s Sec. of Ag. and Vice President, and presidential candidate

Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion.

Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution.

Bernie Saders

In my view, the President of the United States of America needs to stand with the American people and say to the Republican leadership that enough is enough. No, we will not balance the budget on the backs of working families, the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor, who have already sacrificed enough in terms of lost jobs, lost wages, lost homes, and lost pensions. Yes, we will demand that millionaires and billionaires and the largest corporations in America contribute to deficit reduction as a matter of shared sacrifice. Yes, we will reduce unnecessary and wasteful spending at the Pentagon. And, no we will not be blackmailed once again by the Republican leadership in Washington, who are threatening to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States government for the first time in our nation’s history unless they get everything they want –  Bernie Sanders, Senate Speech, June 28, 2011

General David Shoup, USMC

“I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-soaked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own — and if unfortunately their revolution must be of the violent type because the ‘haves’ refuse to share with the ‘have-nots’ by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American style, which they don’t want and above all don’t want crammed down their throats by Americans.”  General David Shoup

We e 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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Declaration of Independence,   July 4, 1776

 
originally posted Jul 4, 2013 at 1:00am

28 comments to Happy Independence Day – July 4, 2013

  • Celsius 233

    Nice while it lasted; but not a very long run as empires go…

    Smedley Butler looks like Daniel Craig, no?

  • Tina

    Have a great Day Everyone :)

  • Tina

    Mark Twain:

    “Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than in all the other days of the year put together. This proves, by the number left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.” – Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar

  • nymole

    Dorothy Day, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug, Ann Richards

    Louis Armstrong (‘Happy “Birthday”, Pops’

    Bayard Rustin

  • Skriz

    Bernie Sanders – the only decent politician left in Washington, now that Dennis Kucinich is gone.

    Picture of Bernie here.

  • nihil obstet

    Henry Wallace FDR’s Sec. of Ag. and Vice President, and presidential candidate

    Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion.

    Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

    They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution.

    Sojourner Truth, abolitionist, women’s rights activist

    You have been having our rights so long, that you think, like a slave-holder, that you own us. I know that it is hard for one who has held the reins for so long to give up; it cuts like a knife. It will feel all the better when it closes up again.

    Frederick Douglas, abolitionist

    Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.

    • Good additions. They’re at the top with a link to your comment/quotations. Thanks!!! (Wallace is the symbolic typing point from sanity to cold war delusional disaster, imho.)

      • Hi Mike, nice idea and I like your men, and there are way too few women. Thanks nymole for your addition of fine sheros. Here are some more: Audre Lord, Wendy Davis, Harriet Tubman, Toni Morrison, Suzannah Heschel, Maya Angelou, Alice Paul, Letitia Van Putte, Nina Simone

      • The campaign to derail Wallace’s candidacy does mark a turning point. It might be a vastly different world if he had been FDR’s veep again instead of Truman.

  • Mother Jones, “Big Bill” Haywood, and George Carlin. :-)

  • I like the three you added,Mike. Here is another love shero Amazon. Angela Davis

    • Oh, she’s a good one. Has to wait until next year, thought. I saw her speak at US Berkeley back in the day (I was a toddler, of course;). It was quite a crowd in the main square at the top of Telegraph Ave. Herbert Marcuse introduced her. She was good, although a bit intellectual. Marcuse was the better rabble rouser. It was a good day. No beat downs,just speeches.

  • Raja

    Noam Chomsky.

    Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.

    In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued – they may be essential to survival.

    Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism.

    Quotes…

  • Celsius 233

    Amy Goodman and Frederick Douglas;
    here’s a podcast of Douglas’ speech to The Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society in the voice of James Earl Jones;
    http://ec.libsyn.com/p/f/5/7/f57487107bf60639/AmyGoodman.mp3?d13a76d516d9dec20c3d276ce028ed5089ab1ce3dae902ea1d01cf8437d1ce5c61f9&c_id=5837280

  • Arnie

    The fourth day of July is no longer a day of celebration and joy, those times are far passed; instead the day has changes into one of contemplation and reflection accompanied with a profound, to the quick of the bone sadness.

    The independence which the day once celebrated is long disappeared, in its place one finds the detritus of a failed republic posing as government and a population buggered by merchandising and propaganda into a compliant, ignorant, historically detached herd; increasingly referenced as sheeple: made mindless under the knife of political correctness; allowed a range of emotion where anger comprises 80%, most of the balance taken up by fear and hate; indoctrinated with a 24/7/365.25 diet of lies, half-truths, misinformation, deceptions and every form of mendacity contrived in the fertile minds of the knaves of the moving lips, the sole defense becoming the question ‘What is true about …?’ for every iota provided by what is still called news for some unfathomable reason; and enslaved to a work ethic that no longer requires shackles to restrict.

    Such is the debased citizenship, reflecting itself in the form of its governance, or, as the case might be, the reverse. In earlier, aware times, a pall of tragedy would accompany such circumstance arising in human events, but the experience of being human has been erased and the tragedy is wasted on the deformed creatures that remain, only profound sorrow tints the heart upon seeing what has come to pass.

    Why is the late Rosa Parks not included in your hagiographic observances?

    • Celsius 233

      Hear! Hear! To all of it…

    • I put up those independents who came to mind and asked for suggestions. Rosa Parks certainly belongs up there. So I’ll add her.

      The U.S. public is victimized by the most pervasive, magnificent psyops effort ever in any major country. Lies are the common denominator and they’re adjusted to meet the particular needs. The vast majority of citizens are decent, productive folks who help their families and neighbors and would, in general, prefer to be alone. They are subject to the psyops on a relentless basis. But they’re often right, even with limited information. Most opposed the 2003 Iraq invasion until just enough of them fell for the Bush WMD lie. Consistent support for progressive positions is found when polling questions are asked properly, usually by independent pollsters. But people are suckered. That’s ending.

      Most recently, big majorities opposed any military intervention in Libya and Syria – 60% opposed to both. Then the psyops starts. The presidents and members of Congress say, ‘We have to do unpopular things because they’re right.’ Then they screw us and really hammer some poor foreign population.

      Same in the UK, although the opposition to Iraq etc. was far greater than here. Nevertheless, a majority in both parties opposed the 2003 invasion absent a confirmation that there were WMD present.

      The English Civil has been instructive to study, particularly Cromwell’s assumption of leadership. He ruined a fine political movement by sending troops to Ireland.

      Which reminds me, this guy should be up there.
      Freeborn John

      • Arnie

        Thanks for remembering Rosa, the universe shifted a little bit to accommodate her integrity and made itself a little better for all.

        In my words, a statement of condition was made, stark, as undistorted as was possible. It was NOT a passing of judgment – good or bad. Nor was it a blame it upon someone or something else that this has come to pass, and thereby not take responsibility for the unfolding of events – that is what children do. It is amazing that after decades of lies, the government is even listened to, much less given credence, even for stating the sun rises in the East without automatically waiting for the lie to drop. That once was an inconceivable statement to make, but it is well within living memory. As for complicity, all one needs look at is the rate incumbents are returned to national public office, a ‘recidivism rate’ of 90+ percent, good god, George W. Bush was re-elected after his record became known – that is public complicity at the highest levels regardless whether supporting or opposing and LOSING. What difficulty is there with understanding: ‘With power, if you do not WIN, you are LOST; power IS zero sum’? That polls are meaningless and can easily be manipulated or even ignored – the very substance of ephemeral – and provide scant cover against the cold chills of reality. The reality is: The nation was a Republic, it no longer is, no matter should the forms remain. Those having gained suffrage sold their interests for a few lentils of belief and feel-good, and are now faced with very thin pottage. The seed-corn is eaten, the children soon to be as famine stalks, the rains of prosperity are in dry clouds seen beyond the horizon. These are the days made for rainmakers and demagogues. Interesting times – indeed.

        • Celsius 233

          Arnie, this is one of the best posts I’ve seen here. Gods be good, I wish I had your ability of erudition in gainsaying a point.
          Bravo!
          I do wish you could have been kinder in your final analysis; but that isn’t warranted, on any level I can see…
          Cheers…

        • Presuming that elections reflect the will of the people starts with the assumption that the election results actually reflect the votes cast. That’s why polls matter. They are the one way to check pervasive election fraud.

          We’ve had fraud in many forms from day one: restrictions on who can vote; restrictions on how voting is conducted; secrecy in ballot counting; disenfranchisement of blacks and Latinos; disenfranchisement of ex felons; electronic election fraud.

          The former methods of fraud are now ratified and hidden away by computerized elections that have been outsourced to the private sector. We have third rate tech firms, owned by extremist right wingers, running elections and counting the ballots in secret. But they’re not rally ballots, they’re bits and bytes.

          We have an Iranian style system for selecting candidates. In Iran a panel of Mullahs screen candidates for religious fitness and then include those who pass on the ballot. Here, a panel representing the uber wealthy screen candidates for political fitness and then include those who pass on the ballot. Same structure, different criteria, same result – the elections don’t represent anything other than the power structure.

          When the elections are rigged from the start, judging those who live under the system is flawed from the start. The 40% or so who are regular abstainers from voting are actually making a statement. There’s no point. Those who do vote can’t be judged because the results cannot be verified. This is by design. We do not know who won, ever.

          Gore won in 2000 but had the election stolen in the most obvious ways.

          Kerry won in 2004 and that was proven: Election 2004: The Urban Legend

          Change relies on public awareness and persuasion. Statements like: “Those having gained suffrage sold their interests for a few lentils of belief and feel-good, and are now faced with very thin pottage” are not persuasive. In fact they insult the very people who need to change.

          We live in a system where it is “us” versus “them.” There are very few of them, but their power is considerable, not to be discounted and certainly not to be forgotten.

          Bypassing the overwhelming evidence that elections are fraudulent may allow criticism of voters but it lacks any real persuasive power.

          • Arnie

            I was not going to respond to this load of shite; some things are better left to pass unremarked. However, a question kept nagging – Is this what is being taught as journalism these days? To take a word or phrase out of an argument, amplify that word or phrase, massage and knead, twist, distort, make into something unrecognizable from the original use and context and present this as argument?

            You have overlooked some truly classical polls of all time, courtesy of the Lads (Ladrónes really) running the Republic of Ireland. The EU proposed structural reorganization in the Nice Treaty was put to vote in the Republic as was constitutionally necessary. That vote failed and by failing put an end to the issue requiring unanimous consent. The Lads in Dublin, fearful of the consequences, required a second poll, this time to get it correctly decided, which, of course, was done only for the treaty to be rejected by two other countries. This corpse was sent back to remanufacture, redressed with new gowns (Lisbon Treaty) and lipstick generously applied. Again it was presented to, as required, the Irish voter and again was rejected, and again the Lads in Dublin, not ones to take NO as an answer, returned the voters to their booths to get their decision corrected a second time. Although the public in a number of member states were polled as being firmly in disfavour, their access to polls were studiously avoided. When you put the crap you have written about the sanctity of polling, it pales to non-sense against such experience. But the one thing you did accomplish was to blow smoke that obliterates, obfuscates and neutralizes the argument you have chosen to disagree with without resort to a convincing argument.

            I also don’t expect to see Rosa Parks illustrated above, probably for the same reason Martin Luther King Jr. was not mentioned – one only has to look to the geographical source of these pages. Sad.

  • Bernard

    When Bernie Sanders filibusters, then i’ll heed Bernie Sanders. all talk so far, talk i agree with, but full of sound and fury, signifying BS

    • I agree on the staged filibuster with no ability to stop the legislation. It was theatrical but in a limited way but, from the start, not intended to produce anything more than a statement. We need a monkey wrench in the gears, a dead halt to the greed, violence, etc.

  • Well…, Howard Zinn Didn’t Have Much Impact…,

    but he should have. It wasn’t for lack of trying on his part. “A People’s History of the United States” should be required reading for all.

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