Gregory D. Foster

An 'expression of the American mind': On Independence Day and the importance of public service in the face of regnant tyranny

Independence Day, the 4th of July, is a day for, shall we say, celebratory reflection. It is a day not for chest-thumping martial ardor and jingoism, but for honoring and giving renewed life to the ideas that made the Declaration of Independence what it is: an “expression of the American mind,” in Thomas Jefferson’s words, as well as the philosophical foundation for our idealized way of life. It also serves as a reminder that America’s founders, whose wisdom and courage we extol, were dissidents – revolutionaries– who acted treasonously to rid themselves of legally constituted government that nonetheless denied its subjects the fundamental rights all humans deserve to enjoy. It is both the right and the duty of those who suffer such despotism, our founders declared, to dissent against – even to overthrow – the government in power.

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Sorry, the Idea that Civilians Control the US Military Is Pure Fantasy

Item: Two U.S. Navy patrol boats, with 10 sailors aboard, “stray” into Iranian territorial waters, and are apprehended and held by Iranian revolutionary guards, precipitating a 24-hour international incident involving negotiations at the highest levels of government to secure their release. The Pentagon offers conflicting reports on why this happened: navigational error, mechanical breakdown, fuel depletion -- but not intelligence-gathering, intentional provocation, or hormonally induced hot-dogging.

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