Happy Fourth of July to everyone on our blog and other blogs. The Turleys will hold our annual Fourth of July celebration with fireworks tonight with a cookout, pies, and of course fireworks. I love this holiday.

Obviously, this is a difficult year for those who value civil liberties in this country. We are celebrating our freedom in the midst of a scandal involving unprecedented warrantless surveillance and the rise of an imperial presidency. In addition, we have a Congress that appears to tolerate perjury from high-ranking officials and a government intent on changing our model of privacy into a new surveillance-friendly image. It has challenged our notion that this remains the “land of the free.” It is easy to simply retreat into one’s home and not celebrate this year. However, these politicians are not what we are celebrating nor are we celebrating the cult of personality that has replaced our principles. Indeed, they are the antithesis of what this holiday should be about: freedom.

I intend to celebrate this holiday with added vigor this year. The erosion of our civil liberties only makes me more appreciative of our Framers and more committed to regaining what they left us . . . and what we have lost. I remain an optimist about this country and a great believer in its principles. Our politicians, including our President, have betrayed those principles and triggered a torrent of criticism around the world. We are now viewed by many as a violator of the rule of law rather than its protector. Worse yet, we have a political system that appears entirely untethered to the American people and voters who are increasingly convinced that they have no voice in a system controlled by a monopoly of two parties. We seem to be living in an American Animal Farm of different rights for the governed and the governing elite.

Yet, this is a holiday that reminds us that we are better than the people who govern us and this country stands for something beyond the creature comforts of an affluent society. We are defined by our liberties and that is what I will celebrate today. We still represent something in this world and the world needs what we have promised even if we are not currently delivering on it. We represent the promise of free speech and free exercise and self-determination. We represent the value of privacy and self-autonomy. We represent one of the most pluralistic nations on Earth that has succeeded in coexisting and flourishing despite our religious, cultural, and political differences. That all means something even if our leaders treat them like cheap soundbites.

So there for a great Independence Day to everyone on the blog. I will hoist a burger and a beer in your honor today.


39 thoughts on “HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!”

  1. Michael1803 1, July 4, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in defense of liberty is no virtue

    Barry Goldwater
    That is empty of historical reality because the extremism is always to tear down liberty –the moderation is always to protect it.

    If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” – James Madison

  2. G.Mason 1, July 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

    If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” – James Madison
    It merits a lot of repetition.

  3. Independence from what? Note that:

    Of the first five presidents, four owned slaves. All four of these owned slaves while they were president.

    Of the next five presidents (#6-10), four owned slaves. Only two of them owned slaves while they were president.

    Of the next five presidents (#11-15), two owned slaves. Both of these two owned slaves while they were president.

    Of the next three presidents (#16-18) two owned slaves. neither of them owned slaves while serving as president.

    The last president to own slaves while in office was the twelfth president, Zachary Taylor (1849-1850).

    The last president to own slaves at all was the eighteenth president, Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877).

    So twelve of our presidents owned slaves and eight of them owned slaves while serving as president.

    (Which U.S. Presidents Owned Slaves?). Twenty Seven Percent of U.S. Presidents owned slaves.

    Twenty Seven percent of the citizens now would be about 86,400,000 citizens owning slaves.

    Very few citizens owned slaves.

    Thankfully, less than one percent of the citizenry owned slaves.

    The 4th of July is not a celebration of government, it is a celebration of independence from what?

  4. Instead of a Commander in Chief, he has given America a “cool guy in charge.” The emperor Barak the Ist is shown to have no clothes. The rabble, as it did in Rome, will rally to his support as long as he showers bread and circuses upon them.

  5. “It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history. Great ideas do not burst upon the world unannounced. They are reached by a gradual development over a length of time usually proportionate to their importance. This is especially true of the principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence. Three very definite propositions were set out in its preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.:

    Calvin Coolidge
    July 5, 1926
    Speech given at Philadelphia


    I doubt secular progressives will like it but Happy 4th anyway.

  6. Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in defense of liberty is no virtue

    Barry Goldwater

  7. Why don’t you invite Obama over for a beer….. Happy 4th…..

  8. What nick said. Many vets with PTSD do not find this day any fun at all. We used to have a German Shepherd named Trooper. He was the most gun-shy dog I ever saw. We once went to a cookout on the afternoon of July 4th, leaving Trooper in the back yard. When we got home, he had broken the kitchen window trying to get in the house. He was terrified. We never made that mistake again.

    As for this being the birthday of our nation, a couple of years ago, I got approval from the VA and National Cemetery for a stone to be placed for my ggg-grandfather. That was long before the days of a Form DD-214, but I had plenty of other documentation. We had a memorial service for him at the National Cemetery, complete with bagpiper. The VA sent a full Colonel to preside over the service, and news media was there. We had no body, since we do not know exactly where he is buried. However, the ceremonial flag used in the service was a 13-star Betsy Ross flag. It was the banner under which he served. As I told a reporter, I got cold chills just having that flag handed to me by the Colonel, knowing what it represented. He and his father, my gggg-grandfather, were there at the birth of this nation. The inscription on the stone says it all.

    A photo of his stone in the National Cemetery is at this link:

  9. Happy Fourth of July to our host and all here. Fireworks are an integral part of this American Holiday. I love them, as does most everyone. However, they are tough on some vets w/ PTSD and many animals. I have a Springer Spaniel who will be spending most of this weekend in her “panic room.” My windowless office in the basement. I know a couple vets who dread the fireworks and they say they’re are more than you think, vets going back to WW2. I’m not raining on the parade here. I’m a pragmatist and realize we all have to tough out events in our lives, and not suggesting fireworks be banned or anything draconian like that. I just ask a few seconds of empathy for vets, and our furry creatures for whom this is hell.

  10. ” 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”
    Thomas Jefferson- Declaration of Independence

  11. “A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. ”

    James Madison, June 29th. 1787, Debates in Federal Convention

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
    Patrick Henry

    “The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

    James Madison

    “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
    James Madison

  12. Happy 4th Professor, to you and your family. Hoping & praying that the good people of Egypt achieve the blessings of independence we have enjoyed until recently.

    PS I submitted a suggestion for your new pup’s name (Fibber McGee) which I believe merits your serious consideration.

  13. I consider the Fourth of July to be my holy day since I am an atheist. The American revolution was one of the most important events in human history and one of the most successful in that it did not devolve into a dictatorship as so many others did. I could not agree more with Prof Turley and his sentiments about our failings, and I too think that we have the means and the ability to overcome them and correct our course.

    Happy Fourth of July to you and all of America. I wish you could be on CNN and give an address on this.

  14. Enjoy your ‘Holiday’ with your family, professor, in this horrible world…. infected with the dreaded disease, Religion…

  15. Ooops! TYPO alert. I think you meant to write “imperial presidency” but you typed “imperil,” which, since it is a real word, was not caught by your Spell-check. Just thought you’d want to know.


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