The American flag does not fly outside our home today. It usually does on July 4 but not this Fourth of July because I just can’t bring myself to celebrate an independence that isn’t or recognize a country that no longer stands for freedom.

In fact, I may start a bonfire on our front yard and burn every American flag we own, an act I feel is far more patriotic than any faux patriot who adorns his car, pickup truck or motorcycle with flags and salutes a nation that today is nothing more than an international bully that wages war on innocents without provocation.

070406burn.jpgI don’t take this action easily. I’ve served my country more than once, in war and peace. I’ve fought for her, killed for her, lied for her and committed acts in her name that were illegal and barbaric.

No more. The America that pauses to recognize Independence Day is not independent. It is not free. It is not worthy of honor nor respect. It is a rotting, putrid hulk of a nation long past its prime, devoid of honor and unworthy of respect.

America today is a hypocrite, a nation driven by lies, one that claims to spread democracy throughout the world when it has none to spread. America is a paranoid police state, a hoard of frightened citizens controlled by a fanatical government who feels the need to watch and monitor its populace 24/7. America is the most controlled and policed nation in the world. More Americans, per capita, work in law enforcement than the citizens of any other nation of the world. Even Russia, at the height of communism, did not need as many agents of the law to keep control of its population.

Our government does not respond either to the will or the need of the people. A cabal that answers only to big money, big business and a corrupt power structure exercise absolute power. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have built the presidency into the most powerful executive branch in history, riding roughshod over a cowardly congress, an ineffective court system and the Constitution of the United States.

The dream of those men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1776 is long gone, destroyed by nothing less than a coup to take over our government. The Declaration of Independence they signed on that July 4th might as well join the Constitution in the bathroom of the President. It’s only function now is toilet paper.

No, no American flag flies at the Thompson home today. It won’t fly tomorrow either. Or the next day. Or the next.

It won’t fly again until something is done to restore the America that once was and rid Washington of the crooks, con artists, thieves and despots who control of government.

Honor this America?

No way.

Salute the flag that flies over today’s America?

Not on your life.

Work to save it?

You betcha. To the death.

Doug Thompson published his first story and photo at age 11 -- a newspaper article about racism and the Klan in Prince Edward County, VA, in 1958. From that point on, he decided to become a newspaperman and did just that -- reporting news and taking photos full-time at his hometown paper, becoming the youngest full-time reporter at The Roanoke Times in Virginia in 1965 and spent most of the past 55+ years covering news around the country and the globe. After a short sabbatical as a political operative in Washington in the 1980s, he returned to the news profession in 1992. Today, he is a contract reporter/photojournalist for BHMedia and owns Capitol Hill Blue and other news websites.

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