Ah, July 4. Independence Day.

The time of year we Americans celebrate our ever-dwindling freedoms.

You know the ones:

  • Freedom of speech, as long as it is in line with the administration.

  • Freedom of religion — but Muslims may be subject to search, seizure, deportation, and general harassment until they can prove they’re not terrorists.

  • Freedom of assembly — but just so you know, Rush Limbaugh and Ari Fleischer will say you’re a communist if your assembly doesn’t promote a hard-right agenda.

  • And freedom of the press, which will soon all be owned by Rupert Murdoch and his partner Michael Powell.

    I could go on, but I think you get the point.

    It’s been 227 years since we declared these truths to be self-evident. And in those 227 years, we’ve even made improvements upon those inalienable rights, with other rights and priveledges granted to us.

    But, oh, what a slippery slope we’ve been on these past couple years.

    Time and again, we’re exchanging freedoms for “safety,” or we’re signing off on having our rights trampled because we’re afraid to stand up to those “in charge.” Or we’re afraid that Rush, Ari and The Boys will call us “unpatriotic.”

    The Boys; John (Ashcroft), Paul (Wolfewicz), George (Bush) and Ringo (nevermind) are intent on giving Iraqi’s freedom — so long as they appreciate it, and securing our freedom — so long as we’re willing to trade our liberties for it.

    Look, folks, 227 years ago, we kissed King George goodbye, because we felt he ruled over us without our authority and was, generally, a bad guy.

    And now, 227 years later, we have three King Georges.

    There’s King “Just One Man” George of North Tonawanda, who is omnipresent but hardly-handy.

    There’s King “Where’s My Map” George of Albany, who shifted the tax burden from the state to the schools, then had his authority hijacked and had the tax burden added back to the state (but not removed from the schools).

    And finally, there’s King “Where’s Osama” George of Washington-by-way-of-Texas, who took out a loan on our future so his affluent friends could afford to bankrupt a few more businesses at stockholder expense.

    This, folks, is the leadership that we have.

    This is what we’re celebrating?

    I suggest that we celebrate our independence by telling the three kings that their days are numbered.

    Now, unfortunately King “Where’s My Map?” was just re-elected, thanks in part to his ability to pretend that the economy is A-OK and our willingness to believe him.

    And we’ll be lucky if anyone even runs against King “Just One Man.”

    But King “Where’s Osama?” can be voted out of office as early as next year. Of course, we could try to impeach his behind for the high crimes and misdemeanors of lying to us to get us into war with Iraq to avenge his daddy and create business opportunities for Republicans.

    Ah, yes, July 4th. Let the fireworks begin.