Well today is Independence Day - the birth of our nation. It is really something spectacular. I thought I would talk about something really important to me. Freedom of Speech. I happen to like all kinds of freedom, but I especially like this one. I have always valued that I live in a country where I am free to express my ideas, thoughts and feeling - without fear that my government can throw me in jail because they do not agree with what I have said or written. In many many places around the world that is not the case. Now, our system is not perfect. We are not without flaws, but for the most part we are free to express ourselves, in a variety of media, without fear. In places like, China, Iran, Cuba, and North Korea - freedom of speech is just not an option.
So as a for instance, I was thinking today, that in the afore mentioned places, I could not get away with this but in the USA I can. So I am going to......
I think you can tell alot about a guy based on his underwear preference. Boxers, for one, offer a wide range of expression - be it plaid (a Scotsman perhaps), cute little bears and log cabins (a nature lover perhaps) and so on you get the point. I think it takes a certain kind of man to pull off a Spedo. (Oh no my eyes my eyes - ahhhhhh.) So I was thinking this morning, just what kind of underwear does our gutless (oops did I actually type that - I meant fearless - bad fingers very bad fingers.....) leader wear? MMMM. Well GW is seriously lacking in imagination, so I am thinking themed boxers would be out of the question. Well, then I am fairly certain that a Spedo is not really his thing either. (Thank God!) While he does jog, I am going to have to say that the sporty boxer brief is not a likely choice either. (Forget about a low rise boxer brief. Yikes not going there.) So after much more thought on the matter than truly necessary I am going to have to say that our largely unimaginative and totally inept leader, more than likely goes with your run of the mill, tighty whitey - plain old briefs.
So you see, in this country I am totally entitled to my opinion. The thought police cannot come to my house, with their shorts in a knot. I am allowed to express my opinions. There are groups in the US who have dedicated their life's work to making sure that we are allowed to express ourselves. (the ACLU as an example) Dissension is patriotic. We must never rest on our laurels. Discussion and debate is a good thing. It keeps the Constitution alive. It honors those, who have given their lives in the pursuit of securing those ideals for all Americans and people around the global.
Freedom of Speech ensures that we are free to exchange ideas, even ideas unpopular with many. It means that we can read what want, write what we want, say what we feels needs to be said. It means that we can watch what we choose in the privacy of our own homes.
But it does have its limits. We cannot outright lie about people. (So if I knew for a fact that GW does in fact wear a Spedo - I really need to own up to that fact.... WHICH I SO HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING.....) It also means that I should offer a fair and balanced explanation for my thoughts. (Yeah ok it is my blog, so I get to say what I want. In a news article, I should be fair and balanced.) I think it is helpful in the pursuit of an honest debate - to avoid personal attacks and the like. But on a whole freedom of speech ensures that we can question and we comment without fear that we could lose of lives, homes, jobs. It ensures that we are free to think and explore.
So I raise my glass to every Dissident who is currently away from their families because they made the choice to speak up and out. I raise my glass to every active duty service man and woman - who is away from friends and family - serving our nation. I raise my glass to every veteran - who has served with honor and pride. I raise my glass to every American who feels passionate about something and who uses their voice to speak out, act up and stand proud.
It really is a reason to celebrate.