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I just got home from watching my town's 4th of July parade. Living in liberal Ashland, Oregon means that we have pro-union, pro-Wisconsin parade entries and Veterans For Peace as well as the VFW. It made me think about freedom and what that word means these days.

The parade starts off with a flyover by fighter jets, roaring down the main drag so low and loud you feel it in your chest. We all cheer and then because we are a town of lefties, we discuss what a waste of jet fuel and how much it must cost. But we still all cheered and teared up. America! F**k Yeah! This year the Mexican restaurant that always has beautiful horses, young women in Mexican costumes and mariachis also carried signs saying "Support the Dream Act". This is the first time for a political statement by El Tapatio Restaurant and it shows how important the Dream Act is to our immigrant friends.

So as I drove home I thought about our freedoms and how corporate dominance of the Supreme Court and both houses of Congress has hacked away at our individual liberty and how the mighty Wurlitzer of the right has drowned out the sound of our shared voices and we now must pit one person's plea against the millions of dollars of "free speech" that the corporations wield. I wish I felt better about our chances in this fight against the ultra rich, the bankers and the multi-national corporations, but the recent decisions by the Supreme Court and the Congress's unwillingness to cut subsidies for the oil companies or corporate jets feels like we are in a fixed fight. I hope I'm wrong. So happy 4th of July, everybody. I'm going to go out, grill some meat and drink some beer.


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