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Independence Day . . . it Ain't what it Used to be

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<br>On this Fourth of July in 2009
-- On the <i>'observed'</i> Fourth, which is actually the third --
(How respectful of us! -- respectful of The Working Man
Who is entitled to his holiday . . . never mind a respect for history
Nor the <b>usual</b> degree of respect we show for The Working Man
-- virtually closing off his options for organizing, and
Exporting his jobs to where they can be
More cheaply performed, to the greater gain of those
Who grant him this guaranteed <b>Holiday</b>!!)

So, Where was I...? Oh, yes,
On this newly-christened Fourth of July in 2009
I take a modest oath, honoring the patriotic fervor
Under which I was raised -- now eight decades ago . . .
I shall withhold that patriotism, and any requested token of it
(Like donations for many and sundry organizations
That swear by their patriotism, and the gaggle of politicians
Always eager to prove their own -- "But it takes <b>bucks</b>, you know")

I shall <b>withhold</b> that patriotism
Until this country, which glories so much in The Rule of Law
-- This country, which was <b>first in line</b> to condemn, try, and punish
Those responsible for <i>Crimes Against Humanity</i>
(Do you recall? It was only half a century ago) --
Yes, this country that <i>saved the world for Democracy,</i> back then
(Never mind the small matter of an unleashed nuclear device, or two,
On a civilian population, in order to accomplish it),
And has demonstrated to the world its peaceful intents . . .
In every country we have occupied . . . I think.

I shall withhold my patriotism until we can look at
<i>Our own pile of accumulating bile</i>,
And start to take responsibility . . . <b>account</b>ability, instead of
the phony assumption of <b>respect</b>ability
For the evils we've engaged in, while doing so much GOOD.

I'm weary of hearing about all the GOOD we do!
I do hope I live long enough to see us rectify the <b>Bad</b>.
But no patriotism shall I register, ever again, until
<i>Punishment sufficient</i> has been meted out
To those in high office who brought it about.
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Irv Thomas, ratrace escapee and cultural outsider for 35 years, editor of Black Bart Brigade during counter-culture days, hides out in Seattle. Presently putting out a sporadic pre-formatted email newsletter called Irv's Scrapbook, which can be had (more...)

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