Independence Day

If you’re reading this on Wednesday, get off the computer and get outside. Visit with friends and relatives. Shoot off some fireworks. Shoot some guns.

That’s what Murdoc’s going to do.

And, as always, don’t forget those in American uniforms who are deployed around the globe, often far from their families for months or more at a time. Many are in combat zones while many others are not, but they’re all a vital part of what made, kept, and keeps America free.


  1. Go to the beach, start a bonfire. Have the beach cops bust you and tell you to put it out because you are in the three toed camel newt or some damn habitat. Have all of your fireworks confiscated because you live in California where everything is against the law. Go home. Happy 4th! Keep your states free! Its too late for this one.

  2. I don’t always agree with Bob Barr, but he writes a good article on the subject of fireworks that I happened across yesterday while looking for something else. It makes you wonder what other excuse they’ll find to write another law restricting your freedoms. On another subject, this is a nice tribute to an airplane that really gets the job done, as opposed to those that get all the glory and don’t do a damn thing. [Lt. Gen. Michael] Wooley [head of Air Force Special Operations Command] particularly noted the role C-130 gunships are playing in Afghanistan and Iraq. ‘We can’t sit them down very long,’ he noted, ‘and as a result we’re flying them sometimes two and three times more than we had programmed. We’re literally flying the wings off them.’ He said he wanted to impress that on the [Warner] Robins [AFB] team but conceded that he didn’t have to work very hard to do it. ‘They already know it,’ the almost 35-year veteran emphasized at a short news conference following his remarks. ‘I told them they’re not in the airplane on the battlefield with their finger on the trigger, but they enable those who are to do what they need to do.’ To express his appreciation, the three-star general brought gunship T-shirts for all the workers: black with the special ops logo on front and a slogan on back – ‘You can run but you’ll only die tired.’ Joy Henderson, a 10-year, C-130 worker at Robins, received the first one from Wooley. Henderson, a resident of Crawford County, has worked on base 17 years and has two children in the Air Force – one on active duty and another in the Air Force Reserve. ‘I understand you’re a C-130 guru,’ he said with a chuckle, ‘but I also wanted to thank you for your service as a mom. You’ve instilled the kind of values we need.’ Henderson wasn’t sure why she was selected for the honor. ‘I guess it’s because I raise a lot of hell when things aren’t done right,’ she said. ‘When you do that, they remember your name. They may not remember why, but they remember it.’ She said having children in the military lends an additional sense of urgency to her C-130 work. ‘We work them all the best we can,’ Henderson pointed out. ‘But when your children might be on them, it makes you think.’ In my experience, this is your typical defense worker. You hear all the time about how greedy these contractors are and how unethical, but that’s not the world I work in. I work with good people like Mrs. Henderson (although not her specifically) all the time. People who aren’t just patriotic when it comes to saying the words or hanging a flag occasionally, but who have a personal stake in the war on terror, the military, and the success of our troops in the field. That is exactly why I say we need real reform in the way we buy weapons.

  3. Apparently Japan had a Defense Minister who understood his job until the day before yesterday. I guess if you get it, you’re fired. Too bad we don’t have anyone in our Department of Defense who gets it or we’d be fighting in Iraq like we meant it, like men. Every day we are there dropping precision weapons and worrying about collateral damage dishonors the memory of what we did in WW2. It not only dishonors our men, but those we fought against as well. The bomb comment from the gaffe-prone Kyuma has hit Abe’s increasingly unpopular government at a sensitive time, coming just a few weeks before July 29 elections for the upper house of parliament. Kyuma’s repeated apologies and Abe’s reprimand of his defense chief have failed to quell the furor, which on Tuesday sparked further public criticism among Abe’s own ministers, several of whom called the comment inexcusable. The opposition had been preparing to submit a formal request for Kyuma’s resignation later on Tuesday, and opposition leaders claimed that Abe shared the blame for the gaffe. At a speech in Chiba outside of Tokyo on Saturday, Kyuma triggered the scandal by suggesting the bombs were an inevitable way of ending World War II. ‘I understand that the bombings ended the war, and I think that it couldn’t be helped,’ he said. Kyuma — who represents Nagasaki in the lower house — said the U.S. atomic bombings caused great suffering in the city, but otherwise Japan would have kept fighting and ended up losing a greater part of its northern territory to the Soviet Union, which invaded Manchuria on the day Nagasaki was bombed.