Half a century ago the philosopher Leo Strauss remarked that the passage in which the Declaration of Independence proclaims its self-evident truths “has frequently been quoted, but, by its weight and its elevation, it is made immune to the degrading effects of the excessive familiarity which breeds contempt and of misuse which breeds disgust.”
One of the great July 4th speeches was delivered by a shy man who played baseball for a living. Lou Gehrig played every day, never took a game off, until he was told, at age 35, that he was dying. More than 60,000 fans and former teammates came out to Yankee Stadium to honor him. Between the two games of the doubleheader, he came out of the Yankee’s dugout and stood, listening as former teammates spoke into the microphones that had been set up behind home plate. He was embarrassed enough by their words that he teared up.
Parades, fireworks, patriotic songs, 150 million hot dogs consumed, 41 million car trips of more than 50 miles -- and heightened security in reaction to Islamist terrorist threats to disrupt our celebration with murder and mayhem as part of their celebration of their holy month of Ramadan. That’s all part of the celebration of our independence from Britain, which at that time specialized in governing us by executive fiat.
Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif has released a YouTube message aimed apparently at his American negotiators. In the video, Zarif even suggests his nation and the United States are int he fight together against terrorism: "Our common threat today is the growing menace of violent extremism and outright barbarism."
One hundred and fifty two years ago, at 2:00 p.m., General Longstreet, who could not bring himself to speak the order, nodded to General Pickett that his division could begin the assault up Cemetery Ridge The South’s greatest – and most peculiarly southern – novelist wrote of how that moment lives. The past, after all, not being dead and, not really even being past:
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will not find a home in France. The French government has announced today it will not grant asylum to the fugitive.
"France has received the letter from Mr Assange. A closer examination shows that given the legal elements and the material situation of Mr. Assange, France can not act on its request. The situation of Mr Assange presents no immediate danger. He is also the subject of a European arrest warrant," the French government writes in a statement released by the Elysee Palace.
A Baltimore man has finally been charged with arson for setting ablaze a CVS pharmacy during the Baltimore riots in April. The criminal complaint was announced by the Department of Justice.
"A criminal complaint has been filed charging Raymon Carter, age 24, of Baltimore, Maryland, with the arson of the CVS Pharmacy located at 2509 Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore, on April 27, 2015," reads the DOJ press release.
In April, an administrative judge with the Oregon Department of Labor ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of the now shuttered bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa, to pay a fine of $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple's wedding. While there's a case the couple violated the state's public accommodation laws, there's little doubt that the fine was excessive and the reasoning for it specious.
Hillary Clinton's communications director was spotted huddling with President Barack Obama. The meeting took place at the White House and was noticed by the pool reporter who was not able to identify the president's interlocutor.
"POTUS motorcade rolls out of the WH at 11:10 am en route to JAB Andrews for day trip to La Crosse (On Wisconsin!)," read the pool report.
"Weather is cloudy, muggy, damp, but cool for a July day in Washington. POTUS seen chatting with COS Denis McDonough and woman in green dress on south driveway before WH departure."
Hillary Clinton will be speaking to La Raza in a couple weeks in Kansas City.
"For the second time in a month, Hillary Clinton will speak to a huge gathering of Latinos, this time in front of 2,000 Hispanic activists and community leaders Monday, July 13 at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) annual conference in Kansas City, BuzzFeed News has learned," BuzzFeed reports.
Vienna The Kurdish opposition was marching through one of the main streets and chanting anti-Iranian regime slogans. He followed me from the protest down a back street and called out. I stopped and he showed me a map and asked if I knew how to get to the destination he had circled. Weird he didn’t have Google Maps like almost everyone else in the city, I thought. It was only a matter of time before the city elders would carve out a separate pedestrian lane for tourists whose eyes were fixed on their phones.
The Bernie Sanders moment does not appear to be passing, at least not yet. The latest Quinnipiac poll of of likely Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa shows the Vermont senator trailing Hillary Clinton by 19 points—a gaping deficit, until you consider that just two months ago, Clinton led Sanders by 45 points in Quinnipiac's Iowa poll.