It's the Fourth of July. Why Are You Online?


If you absolutely have to surf the Web today -- and really, you ought to be setting off firecrackers and eating barbecue in a park somewhere instead -- then Radley Balko's Independence Day column is worth a read.

NEXT: Pot Suckers

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  1. [Insert "How come you're online, Jesse?" comment here. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going offline.]

  2. You guys are so US-centric.

  3. Balko's column reminded me of this Crime & Federalism post which haunts me from time to time:

    "Can anyone today argue that Congress would lack power under the Commerce Clause to regulate the press?"

  4. I have a lame excuse -- the cookout's not until 5pm.

  5. I spent an hour walking through some marvelous and beautiful nature yesterday, and now I'm killing time till some friends come over to bbq and watch fireworks a little later. That's why!

  6. We haven't been vigilant enough. Everyone could use a reminder of how we got here right about now. Last time it was the Parliament. This time it's the Supreme Court. Tyranny can arise from anywhere, and we must remain ready to oppose it.

  7. I started celebrating early last night. I went to Summerfest and took in Blue Merle and Lucinda Williams. Between the two sets our city's big fireworks show took place, blazing in the skies over Lake Michigan. Festival Park is right on the lake, and on a cloudless July night the view was magic!

    Today it is raining, and though the area needs a dousing, the smaller exhibitions of decorative rocketry planned for launch from neighborhood parks may be in jeopardy. I've got my turkey drumsticks marinating in the fridge, and if household festivities are driven indoors, I'll survive.

    Remember what John Adams wrote to Abigail: The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward for evermore.

    While I wish we did a better job of keeping to the Founders' ideals, this is one suggestion that, a slight shift of date notwithstanding, we have kept well.

    Independence, now and forever!


  8. You could also listen to Andrew Sullivan's excellent Fourth of July "Credo" on NPR:

  9. Why should anyone celebrate the founding of a state, especially a jingoistic one that likes to invade and occupy other states? I'll attend a fireworks display celebrating the collapse of the state.

  10. If it helps, Koko, don't think of it as a celebration of the founding of the U.S.A., but of our secession from the British Empire. Perhaps someday we will see true self-governmnet, when each man and woman governs himself or herself. It is hard to see the break from monarchy and colonialism as anything but a positive, even if we've still got a long way to go to reach anything like an ideal society.


  11. I'm online because I'm bloody and possibly suffering from a concussion from a long and rowdy weekend on the coast of Maine.

  12. From the frying pan into the fire, Kevrob. We will only be free when the last statist is strangled with the entrails of the last welfare bum. Let the fittest reign.

  13. Surely, Koko, we can rehabilitate some of the tax-eaters by hiring them to do some of the strangling?

    (yeah, I know, what a bleeding heart...)

  14. Today is Independence Day. Nobody celebrates the actual founding of our government, on September 17, 1787. Interestingly, that's the day that something called the Constitution was signed, which created the government that later destroyed the Constitution (kind of like the robots/nanoparticles humans create will supposedly destroy the human race.)

  15. Ammonium

    Well, some Christians refuse to celebrate December 25 because they think it's a pagan holiday. Maybe you should start a breakaway sct and do fireworks on September 17.

  16. Actually, I'll have a big bonfire and throw copies of the Constitution into it -- I'll be like the Christians who nail themselves to a cross on Good Friday.

    Of course, if anybody has any leftover fireworks they'd like to throw into the bonfire, that would surely be entertaining.

  17. I'm online because I work 100 hours a week. Boo flippin' hoo for me eh?

  18. Balko's column reminded me of this Crime & Federalism post which haunts me from time to time:

    "Can anyone today argue that Congress would lack power under the Commerce Clause to regulate the press?"

    Congress has been using the Commerce Clause to nullify the Second Amendment for decades; why would they balk at soing the same to the First?

  19. Independence Day is just that, the celebration of our independence. Constitution Day would only be our national day if we ignored either November 15th or March 1st, because the act that stitched together the 13 free and independent states was the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution was just an upgrade, if, as some have been heard to mumble, an "un-articular" one.


  20. The "revolution" failed--if you take off those quote-marks.

    (Of course, the "revolution" went just fine, but doesn't deserve celebration.)

    Even Reason berates us for not playing with explosives on the day the government tells us to.

    Ah, sweet freedom.

  21. Even Reason berates us for not playing with explosives on the day the government tells us to.

    Who said anything about doing what we're told?

  22. That article Jesse linked to mentioned that East Hampton, NY had to cancel its fireworks, due to nesting piping plovers, a threatened (not endangered) species. See Newsday from June 24.

    I guess we could get a chuckle from commie summer people from Manhattan having their 4th messed up by their own favorite bureaucracy.

    As a born and bred Lawn Islander, I experienced some excellent pyrotechnics as a kid, mostly from the far-famed Gruccis. There are shows throughout the summer, so even the EH groupers shouldn't miss out. Schedule here.


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