Jul. 4th, 2003

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Apparently being the most heavily retouched thin person in public life wasn't doing it for our girl Ann anymore. Time for the full Van Susteren.

not for the faint of heart )
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So you're here. Unless you're a cave sloth or a TRex, somebody with a lot of guts went to an awful lot of trouble to make that possible. They walked here from Asia, or they came over in a wooden boat or they survived being kidnapped and enslaved or they crammed the hold of a ship without any lifeboats or escaped any one of a few centuries of wars and privation in the rest of the world or maybe they studied as if their lives depended on it and stepped on a plane.

As Bill Murray said in Stripes, we're here because every decent country on earth threw us out, because they didn't want us or because they stopped growing and someone down the trunk of your family tree wanted to be in the land of the really big pie - a pie that wasn't all carved up and handed out centuries before. A pie with some pieces left.

You may be one of those ancestors yourself.

Anyway, if you're here, somewhere in your blood is the blood of someone with a lot of guts.

Some of us forget that what we have was built by new people earning a better place in the world by making the country grow.

Some of us forget that there are people from other lands making our country grow right now to earn a better place in the world.

You got yours? Mazel tov. Sit on it and hope it hatches. The rest of us have a world to build.

You might take a moment to ask yourself - if your ancestors had a choice, would they have chosen you to come build their new world with them, or would they have chosen the guy who washes dishes at that little storefront chinese restaurant that delivers cheap food when everyone else is closed?

Who do you figure they'd have more in common with?

And would they have wanted to find you standing at dockside waiting for them?

Would you have let them in?

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness...

This is who we are. If anyone tells you different, they're wrong. If anyone for purely selfish reasons does anything to make it different, they're wrong too. We can change it back, and we should. We have fine words telling us who we are. We are the people of this land. It's ours. We built it, we maintain it, and we force it to get better.

We may be the children of this country, but we're also its parents.

If there's one thing I've learned from being a parent, it's that it's worth the effort to raise a child you can live with, because you're going to have to live with the child you raise.

Yeah, yeah, you got yours. Well, what you have is a piece of a growing enterprise, something that brave people have volunteered to build and maintain in return for a place at the table, the same as your ancestors did.

I thank them, the ones who came four hundred years ago and the ones who stepped off a plane this morning.

And I'm very very proud that my country is the one they chose.

Happy 4th.


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