issue four

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A FOURTH OF JULY message of patriotism to our fellow citizens of
the Apathetic States of America
-when people acknowledged a passerby.
-common courtesy.
-kindness to strangers.
-good manners.
-being taught to say "sir" and "ma'am" to all adults, out of respect.
-having friendly neighbors, and being neighborly.

I remember…

-wanting all the cool new toys I saw on TV, not getting them, and getting over it.
-when other kids couldn't care less what type of car my parents drove.
-when the smartest kids in school wanted to be doctors or teachers, or maybe even
       President of the United States, when they grew up.
-my parents making me walk to school so I wouldn't grow up to be a fat, lazy, and
       unhealthy drone.
-going camping as a kid with my family among the grandest trees, and drinking
       directly from a free-flowing stream (although it was probably polluted
       back then too).

I remember…

-hearing adults say they'd never allow another Vietnam, not on their watch.

I remember…

-when I didn't think that all elected officials were corrupt, or in any other way
       affiliated with big corporations.
-thinking my government would never tell me that something was non-toxic, when
       they knew damn well it was toxic.
-thinking that if a disaster occurred, my country would rise up and help those in
       need.
-thinking Dr. King's dream was not just that.

I remember when being a dissenter was not synonymous with being a terrorist.
       
I remember…

-standing arm in arm with my fellow service members in boot camp, singing at the
       top of my young and lively lungs, with all my heart:
                       
                       And I'm proud to be an American,
                       where at least I know I'm free…
                       
                       and actually believing that it was true.

I remember...
       In a functioning democracy, no citizen who is qualified to vote can truly call himself innocent. To a certain degree, we are all responsible for this elected and non-elected government, either by our own actions or by a lack thereof. When our government fails us, it is on us - by written decree of the Declaration of Independence - to right this system. Now is that time. I will continue to be active in seeking ways to better this country and this world. First I've had to begin with myself - which is no small task - and now I can continue to increase my role in the broader aspects of social change. I find that much can be achieved by simply assessing what is important to us as individuals. None of us is perfect, but each of us can certainly do more for others, and for this beautiful rock we live on, than we currently do. Much more.

One thing has been made very clear to those of us who care enough to listen:
       
Without immediate change, our habits - our greed, our voluntary ignorance, our apathy - will soon leave nothing but environmental and social wreckage for our descendants.

NO MATERIAL COMMODITY IS WORTH THAT PRICE.
Remember this:
           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. 

       Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

       Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present KING OF AMERICA is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.
We
Oh, and remember this too:

I hope you enjoy issue four.

Happy Birthday, Grandma.

[TR]
All photos by Harvey Finkle
(From the Editor)