Free Speech

A Very Reason Fourth of July


give me reason or give me death

Happy Fourth of July! What better way to kick off the holiday weekend than with a stroll through Reason's archives.

If fireworks are your bag, enjoy "Free the Fireworks!" by Greg Beato and "Light Fuse, Get Away" by Robert Stacy McCain. For deep thoughts on some of the biggest, worst fireworks in recent American memory, re-read Jonathan Rauch on the first post-9/11 Fourth of July, "After 226 Years, an Independence Day Like No Other."

If you're feeling warm and fuzzy about the Constitution, try Damon W. Root on Frederick Douglass, "A Glorious Liberty Document" or look to the future with Ronald Bailey on equality in the era of genetic engineering, "Created Equal?" Plus, Nick Gillespie reminds us that "Those Founding Fathers Were Some Far-Out Groovy Cats Who Definitely Passed the Acid Test, Man!"

And where would America be without her hippies? Sometimes they celebrate the Fourth by gathering in a forest, "Take Me to Your Leader." Other times, they join D.C. smoke-ins, "Give Me Librium or Give Me Meth." Speaking of the 1970s, why not enjoy a little vintage Reason graphic design from our bicentennial issue?

Finally, check out these Fourth of July vids to round off your reading and start the weekend right:


NEXT: What Paul Krugman Cannot Imagine

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  1. I will celebrate the birth of this great nation by grilling steaks and sipping top-shelf rum.

    Thank you, Founders!
    Fuck you, Obama!

  2. I have been invited to a party which involves shooting, drinking, and eating.

    Is this a great country, or what?

    1. Yes. For a little longer maybe.

    2. Talking about eating, it seems that when you try to control people’s foods, they just find where to eat what they want (who would’ve thought?)…..secretary/

      1. From there, I clicked over to Oliver’s site, and found his weakass manifesto. You know who else had a manifesto, and five-year plans?

    3. Will you eat, shoot, and leave?

      (The P stands for “Panda”, right?)

  3. This Canadian transplant will be celebrating the coolest beginning of a country evar by partying at the home of an Indian dude, with various Bosnians, Australians, and other international mongrels in attendance. America, fuck yeah.

  4. I’ll be in Montana for the fourth, hiking in GNP.

  5. I am celebrating the fact that the state government workers in California are working for minimum wage as of today:…..1E8QJQ.DTL

    Please, please never pass a budget.

    1. I read newspapers online and for some reason the SF Chronicle takes forever to load. Do you have the same result?

  6. Is there a long weekend coming up down there or something?

    The volume of comments on all the threads seems to have dropped off dramatically around noon Has everyone stopped cyberslacking at work and gone home?


    [For those who would prefer to hurl hurtful taunts, Canada Day was yesterday and I got stuck with being the person left behind to cover the orphan Friday between the holiday and the weekend.]

  7. Riding my bike down Main Street in the parade
    Cheeseburgers and tube steaks
    Beer and cigars
    Fireworks and shotguns
    Visiting with the hobbitettes and hobbitlings

    Yeah, looking forward to this weekend.

    … Hobbit

    1. And the fact that you weren’t supposed to be in the parade makes it that much more fun.

      With bonus points for going the wrong direction.

      And double bonus points if your bike has no muffler. (Uh, I am assuming you are not talking about the kind with pedals, you know, the ones that function as mobile speed bumps.)

  8. Vulcan cruiser and, yeah, as much as I’d like to pull off an Easy Rider incident, we’ve got a permit to fit in between the fire trucks and the cheerleaders.

    Small town, we like to joke that half the town is in the parade and half is watching. Then we get to the end of the street and trade places!

    … Hobbit

  9. How about reading the Declaration of Independence and realizing how much better the colonists had it than we do….

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